James Reimer perfect for the Detroit Red Wings in Columbus

(Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images) /

Following an impressive 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday evening, the Detroit Red Wings squared off with the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Monday. Detroit entered the night level on the season with a 1-1 record.

There were a couple of lineup changes for the Red Wings heading into Monday’s game. After rolling with 11 forwards and seven defenders on Saturday, head coach Derek Lalonde elected to deploy a more traditional 12-forward and six-defender lineup. This time, it was veteran Jeff Petry becoming the healthy scratch. In the first game of the season, it was Olli Maatta.

With the injury to Robby Fabbri (day-to-day), Detroit recalled Austin Czarnik, who played quite a bit for the Red Wings a year ago, to center the fourth line in Columbus. Lalonde also elected to give starting goaltender Ville Husso, who started the season’s first two games, a rest. Veteran backup James Reimer got the nod Monday night.

The Detroit Red Wings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0.

First Period

It was a bit of a slow first seven or eight minutes as both teams were feeling each other out. Both goaltenders performed very well early, especially Reimer, who made three top-notch saves. Spencer Martin started in goal for Columbus and made a massive save on Alex DeBrincat at point-blank range early. DeBrincat entered the night leading the Detroit Red Wings with four points, including three goals.

Shayne Gostisbehere opened the scoring for the Detroit Red Wings midway through the first period. The play started in Detroit’s zone, as Reimer made a big-time save and scrambled to get back into the goal. Gostisbehere made an excellent defensive play by saving a goal as Remier was swimming. Veleno took a lead pass from Maatta and carried the puck down to the bottom of the left-wing circle before firing a pass to a trailing Gostisbehere, who promptly deposited it past Martin. It’s Gostisbehere’s first goal as a Red Wing and third point. The veteran defenseman joined the Detroit Red Wings this off-season, signing a one-year deal worth $4.125 million. He’s coming off a 13-goal, 41-point season between Arizona and Carolina.

The first period ended with the Detroit Red Wings up 1-0. The shots were 9-5 in favor of Columbus. Reimer was sensational.

Second Period

Like the first period, things had been relatively quiet for the first part of the period, and then the floodgates opened. J.T. Compher had a beautiful takeaway just inside the Blue Jackets blue line. Compher sprung Michael Rasmussen, whose first shot was blocked by Adam Boqvist. The 6-foot-6 forward stayed with it and fired another attempt towards the goal that went just over the left pad of Martin and under the glove to make it 2-0 Red Wings.

Compher, 28, is another one of those off-season additions who is performing very well to start the year. He entered the night with a goal and three points over the first two games and led all Red Wings forwards in ice time Saturday night.

Detroit would quickly make it 3-0 thanks to a power play goal from Dylan Larkin. It was Seider to DeBrincat who quickly sprung Larkin near the Columbus blue line when Detroit’s captain busted in with speed, splitting the Blue Jacket defense and beating Martin five-hole with a nice backhander. Larkin drew a slashing penalty on the play, and on the subsequent power play, Andrew Copp hammered home his first goal of the season in tight. The opportunity came off a rebound following a Lucas Raymond shot.

The Detroit Red Wings finished the second period on the power play and a 4-0 lead. Shots 18-13 in Detroit’s favor following the frame.

Third Period

There were some fireworks in the third frame. Klim Kostin leveled Cole Sillinger with a clean hit in front of Columbus’ goal. Veteran defenseman Erik Gudbranson took exception to the hit and squared off with the big Russian. Each landed big blows during the tilt, but Kostin handled himself well.

Just past the midway point in the frame, Larkin sprung Copp on a breakaway. Despite getting a shot off, Copp had been hooked and hacked, which prompted a penalty shot call. Copp cruised in and went to the backhand on the attempt but was denied by Martin and his glove.

Things remained chippy, but nothing more than a few skirmishes materialized as Detroit cruised to a 4-0 victory. Detroit outshot the Blue Jackets 28-23 in the contest.

Steve Yzerman made a conscious effort to upgrade Detroit’s backup goaltending situation this past summer, and although we’ve yet to see Alex Lyon, Reimer was perfect in his Red Wings debut. And for now, it seems the position upgrade is a success.

Next. Lucas Raymond adds weight, muscle and appears ready to breakout. dark

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Next up for the Red Wings is a date with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in Detroit on Wednesday night.