Detroit Red Wings pick up 2 points vs. Columbus; eyeing Thursday's match-up next

The Detroit Red Wings salvaged two points on Tuesday, coming away with an overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. But, Thursday's game is daunting.
Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates his overtime winner.
Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates his overtime winner. / Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings are clinging to the life of their playoff hopes after coming away with a victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Frankly, after a couple of Blue Jackets goals early on, Detroit was lucky to come away with the two points, but they were able to tie things up in the waning moments and come back for an overtime win.

There's still time left on the season, and the Detroit Red Wings need to keep churning out the wins. Without Dylan Larkin in the lineup, the team has struggled, but there has to be hope that his return could provide a big boost. Perhaps Larkin's return could allow the Red Wings to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth.

The Red Wings have 76 points on the season, trailing Tampa Bay by four points. They're back in the second wildcard spot, holding a one-point lead over Washington and a three-point lead over the Islanders. The playoff hunt is not over, but it's surely still going to be a long stretch of games for Detroit coming up.

Picking up two points against Columbus may not seem like a tall task, but it was a big game. Every game is a big game in the home stretch for Detroit. After a rough start where the boos were raining down on the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena, the team was able to add a couple of goals and get things moving in the right direction.

Detroit Red Wings win over Columbus was much-needed.

Patrick Kane and Lucas Raymond led the Red Wings offense in their game on Tuesday night. Raymond scored two goals, including a big-time goal with 13 seconds on the clock, to send the game into overtime. Showtime himself picked up the game-winner on a three-point night.

The Red Wings stuck James Reimer between the pipes, giving Alex Lyon a much-needed breather. Even with a rough start with two goals for Columbus, Reimer held strong and helped the team come out on top. Sure, the goals early on were not totally his fault, but overall, the team was still able to stay in the hunt, with Reimer making the stops.

He's not as bad as people make him out to be and has been more than serviceable for the Red Wings. He deserves his chances, and with Lyon teetering and the Red Wings clinging to life, Reimer might be the best option—he was on Tuesday.

Detroit secured the two points, but things did not get any easier. They're battling the New York Islanders right now in the standings, and they will square off with New York on Thursday on home ice—another must-win game.

Looking ahead, the Red Wings need a win against the Islanders.

It may not be a playoff game, but Thursday feels like one. The team will need to bring its very best, and lately, they have not done that. But with playoff implications on the line, being able to grab two points from a team that they are battling with is going to be hugely important through these last few weeks.

Scraping together points and being able to do whatever they can will be huge. Cleaning things up and being the team that they have been at various points this year is key. They just need to show up and play a full 60 minutes, using their offense, which has come out and performed often this year.

Keeping the puck out of their own net has been a problem too, but the team's offense needs to bring it as well. Kane's big goal and Raymond's couple of tallies are promising. They just need the whole team to kick it up a notch. Hopefully, a healthy Dylan Larkin will not only bring offense to the team but also a nice spark to kick the team in the rear end.

Tuesday's win was important and was a big one for the team, but Thursday's game is a must-win. They have to find a way to keep the Islanders at bay and keep adding points in their Wildcard hunt.