The Columbus Blue Jackets did not get their homestand off to the best of starts. They hope for a better effort on Saturday evening as they play host to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Blue Jackets began a six-game residency on Thursday and dug themselves an early hole on the way to a 4-1 setback to the St. Louis Blues, who scored three goals in the game's first 14 minutes.
Derick Brassard got the Blue Jackets on the board with a power-play goal in the second period, but the club couldn't generate anymore offense before the Blues capped the scoring with an empty-net tally. That dealt Columbus its second straight loss and dropped it to 2-5-1 on the season.
"I'm disappointed. It was 3-0, but it wasn't necessarily just the score," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "It was more how we were playing and how they were playing."
Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up three goals on just 11 shots and didn't make it out of the first period. Steve Mason stopped all 13 shots he faced in relief.
Acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in an offseason trade, Bobrovsky won his Columbus debut but is now 2-2-1 with a 2.97 goals against average and .907 save percentage in five starts. Mason hasn't been much better, going 0-3 with a 2.97 GAA and .895 save percentage in four games (3 starts).
Bobrovsky's non-regulation loss came against visiting Detroit on Jan. 21, a 4-3 shootout setback as the Red Wings got the winner from Damien Brunner in the fourth round.
Bobrovsky was solid with 39 saves, but the Blue Jackets have lost six of eight and 15 of their past 20 against the Red Wings.
Columbus has split its last six at home with Detroit, which got a goal and an assist from Pavel Datsyuk in the win and 30 saves by Jimmy Howard.
The Red Wings were led by Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on Friday, getting a combined seven points out of their top two players in a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
Zetterberg scored twice in the first period and capped a hat trick with an empty-net short-handed goal to go along with two assists, while Datsyuk had a goal and assisted on another.
Zetterberg, Detroit's new captain who missed practice on Thursday due to illness, has five goals and 12 points over a six-game point streak, with an assist in each game, while Datsyuk has logged 10 points over his last six contests.
"I hear a lot about the things we don't have, but I don't know any other teams that have Pav (Pavel Datsyuk) and Z (Zetterberg)," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Jonathan Ericsson recorded a goal and an assist, while Johan Franzen had three helpers. Howard made 23 stops as the Red Wings won consecutive games for the first time this season and have points in four straight (3-0-1).
Detroit went into Friday's game 3-for-32 on the power play and scored twice on eight man advantages versus the Blues.