DETROIT – Jonas Gustavsson admits his memory isn’t the greatest, but when he was reminded of what he accomplished Tuesday night his recollection got a little better.
Gustavsson made 36 saves to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena.
It was Gustavsson’s second straight win and the Wings’ third consecutive.
The last time Gustavsson had wins in consecutive appearances was also when he played on back-to-back nights (Jan. 23 and 24, 2012 while with Toronto). That season, Gustavsson strung together four wins in a row twice.
“It feels good, but I’m going to be happy about this tonight and tomorrow is a new day,” Gustavsson said. “It’s sounds boring, but that’s how I am. You can’t get too high or too low. It’s early in the season, but it’s nice to get off to a good start.”
Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi scored for Detroit.
Cam Atkinson had the lone marker for Columbus, while Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves.
“I felt good,” Gustavsson said. “We had a game yesterday, so back-to-back, and that was the first couple of games that I played so that was different. It’s just a matter of preparing yourself and be ready to go out and have a good first period because that’s usually the key in these kind of games. Overall, the guys played really well (in front of me) so that made it pretty easy.”
Gustavsson came with a huge save on Jack Johnson let in the third period, going post-to-post to snare the defenseman’s blast with his glove to preserve the Wings’ 2-1 lead.
“I don’t know if I couldn’t get a good push or if I got caught with one of our or their guys, but I had to do something to get some part of my body over there,” Gustavsson said. “Lucky enough that was enough.”
Gustavsson has filled in back-to-back games for the injured Jimmy Howard.
“He’s stepped up and is playing very well,” Bertuzzi said. “He’s playing like a goalie who’s 6-foot-4, coming out and challenging. He made a huge save there in the end. He’s playing very competitive. He’s out of the paint and being very aggressive. He’s been doing a heck of a job. We’ve played two pretty good teams here and he’s stood on his head.”
Alfredsson opened the scoring just five minutes into the game.
After a failed 4-on-2 rush up ice in the waning moments of a Wings’ power play, the loose puck found its way on Alfredsson’s stick and he fired a slap shot past Bobrovsky.
The goal came just two seconds after Columbus had killed off Detroit’s man advantage.
Alfredsson now has a goal and four assists over this last three games.
Atkinson evened things up with a power play goal, freeing himself from Danny DeKeyser to the right of Gustavsson.
Bertuzzi put the Wings back in front less than four minutes later with their fourth power play tally in the last three games.
After getting knocked to the ice in front of Bobrovsky, the veteran got back up and was able to get a piece of a floater of a shot sent in from Henrik Zetterberg to slip it between the netminder’s pads.
The point was Zetterberg’s second of the game, giving him a team-leading nine points this season.
Last season, the Blue Jackets earned nine out of a possible 10 points against the Wings.
It’s the first of three meetings between the teams.