DETROIT – Ty Conklin didn’t make the most saves, just the biggest ones.
Conklin stopped 23 shots for his eighth career shutout and Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists, sending the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
Marian Hossa and Henrik Zetterberg each added a goal for Detroit, which won its fourth straight. Conklin got his fourth shutout this season and stretched his home scoreless streak to 138 minutes 46 seconds. He also has four shutouts in nine games at Joe Louis Arena this season after being signed away from the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent in July.
“I feel real good, period. I certainly feel a lot more comfortable than when I first got here,” Conklin said. “The first couple games I was tentative and had some butterflies but now I’m a lot calmer and I feel comfortable behind this team. Hopefully, it works both ways.”
His biggest save Tuesday night came on Michael Peca about nine minutes into the game. With Detroit’s Tomas Kopecky in the penalty box for tripping, Conklin dove across the crease to knock away Peca’s shot after the veteran took a cross-crease pass facing an open net.
“That was basically a goal into an empty net and he made an unbelievable save,” Hossa said. “The game could have gone either way. … He saved a huge goal and then we started playing well a little after that.”
Detroit defenceman Chris Chelios, the NHL’s oldest player at 46, played in his 880th regular-season win, the most of any player in league history. Chelios broke a tie with Hall of Fame defenceman Scott Stevens.
It was Chelios’ fifth game of the season.
Steve Mason stopped 37 shots for Columbus, which lost captain and leading scorer Rick Nash late in the first period after he went hard into the boards.
“We’ll evaluate him tomorrow,” said Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock, who would only add that Nash had a lower-body injury.
Datsyuk got the game’s first goal 3:45 into the third period on a power play. He put in a rebound off a goal-mouth scramble for his 17th of the season.
“He had lots of saves today to keep it 0-0,” Datsyuk said about Mason. “The plan was shoot, go for rebound like always. Create traffic.”
Hossa scored a power-play goal just 2:14 later when he beat Mason with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle for his 18th goal, which also broke his seven-game scoreless drought.
“I just tried to make it simple,” Hossa said. “It gets a little frustrating, but I just tried to check hard and keep things simple. I was getting chances, so it was just a matter of time. … Don’t think, just shoot the puck.”
Zetterberg added an empty-net goal in the final minute. It was his 15th.
Mason made a big save on Datsyuk 50 seconds into the third period. Mason, who was laying in the crease, knocked Datsyuk’s shot away with his glove.
“We had been good up to that point,” Mason said. “To give those two up definitely hurt us.”
Notes: Columbus placed F Jiri Novotny on injured reserve with an upper body injury and activated D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, who wasn’t in the lineup. … Red Wings D Andreas Lilja was a healthy scratch. … It was the first time this season that both Detroit and its opponent have not scored in the first two periods.