COLUMBUS, Ohio – Joey MacDonald put forth one of the best performances of his four-year career and helped his coach join some elite company along the way.
MacDonald made 37 saves for his second NHL shutout, and Drew Miller and Valtteri Filppula scored first-period goals to lift the Detroit Red Wings past the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 on Thursday night.
After snapping Washington’s nine-game winning streak on Wednesday, the Red Wings won their fourth in a row to give Mike Babcock his 300th win with Detroit. He is the third NHL coach to win 300 games with a team over a six-season span, joining Montreal’s Scotty Bowman (321) and Edmonton’s Glen Sather (307).
“I thought MacDonald was real good,” Babcock said. “We scored on the first shift. Then we relaxed and got a little sloppy. We weren’t near as good as we were last night but we found a way to win on the road in back-to-back nights.”
Even though the win wasn’t pretty, it still produced two points for the Red Wings, who are trying to hold onto second place in the Western Conference. They came into the game four points ahead of San Jose.
“I felt really good,” said MacDonald, who joined the team on Wednesday while Chris Osgood continues to rehab from sports hernia surgery. “The first period they threw a lot of pucks at me. I made a couple of good saves to get me into the game.”
MacDonald preserved the shutout with a late goal-line glove save on a shot by Rick Nash that teammate Derick Brassard was trying to jam into the net. The play withstood a video review that determined the puck didn’t cross the line.
The Blue Jackets have lost nine of 10.
“We didn’t finish,” said Nash, who hasn’t scored in 11 games. “We had lots of opportunities but again we didn’t bear down. It’s been tough, the goalies have been playing well, but we’ve been having chances and letting up a bit.”
The Blue Jackets went 0-for-6 on the power play, including a two-man advantage that lasted 43 seconds with about five minutes remaining. The Red Wings have killed 34 of the last 36 chances against them.
“We have more than our share of opportunities to at least get one goal,” Columbus coach Scott Arniel said.
Despite outshooting Detroit 14-8 in the first period, sloppy play put the Blue Jackets in an early 2-0 hole. The Red Wings scored on the second shot of the game 33 seconds in.
Darren Helm scooped up a loose puck in the neutral zone and snapped a hard shot from the right wing on Steve Mason. Mason made the stop, but kicked the puck back into play to Miller, who one-timed the rebound into an open net for his eighth goal.
“Every game I play in I’m going to assert myself any way I can,” said Miller, who has been scratched recently. He also got into a rare fight in the first.
Midway through the period, Filppula scored his 15th goal, a power-play tally. With Nash serving a high-sticking penalty, Johan Franzen curled from behind the right side of the net and slotted a cross-crease pass to Filppula, who wristed a shot from the top of the left circle past a leaning Mason.
Notes: Detroit is 24-9-4 on the road. … Columbus has lost four in a row at home. … Miller had been scratched in five of the previous 10 games but has four goals in that span. … Red Wings D Brian Rafalski, playing in his third game since injuring his back on Feb. 24, appeared to hurt his right leg in the third period and didn’t return. … An octopus was thrown on the ice with just over a minute left.