COLUMBUS, Ohio — Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals and the Detroit Red Wings dominated from start to finish Tuesday night to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 and grab a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.
The first NHL playoff game at Nationwide Arena — in the Blue Jackets’ 659th game — was a mammoth letdown for a franchise-record crowd of 19,219.
Dan Cleary had a goal and two assists, Tomas Holmstrom scored 1:07 in and Johan Franzen added two assists. The Red Wings can advance to the conference semifinals with a win Thursday night.
Chris Osgood’s shutout streak of 144 minutes, 27 seconds ended with 3:53 left when R.J. Umberger scored on a backhander off a rebound of Rick Nash’s drive.
The goal was almost identical to the only other score the Blue Jackets have in the series, when Umberger scored late in the second period of Game 1.
Osgood, who finished with 31 saves, stopped Kristian Huselius on two prime scoring chances within a minute in the first period, each of which would have tied it.
He also gloved a Raffi Torres shot from close range early in the third period as Torres waded in all alone.
Since an embarrassing 8-2 home loss, with Osgood in goal, on March 7, the Red Wings have won the last four meetings with the Blue Jackets by a combined score of 16-2.
Rookie goaltender Steve Mason had 22 saves for Columbus.
The last four times the Red Wings hit the road leading a first-round series 2-0, they lost. Not this time. Not even close.
A standing-room only crowd roared at the start but the Red Wings got on the board quickly. Holmstrom skated down the left wing and fired a 50-foot shot that Mason deflected.
The puck went to Marian Hossa at the right dot, who gained control of it before backhanding a high shot that skipped past Mason off the crossbar and along the goal line. Holmstrom was there to jam in the rebound.
After Detroit took eight of the first 11 shots with Columbus looking hesitant and jittery, the Blue Jackets had the next eight shots on Osgood.
But with less than a minute left in the first period, Franzen’s shot from the right wing smacked into defenseman Mike Commodore and Cleary in the crease. Cleary collected the puck, spun and whipped a shot past Mason.
A weird sequence led to the Red Wings’ third goal.
Commodore tried to check Daniel Cleary but missed, flipping over the boards and onto the Detroit bench.
Moments later, he made contact with Franzen, decking him behind the Columbus goal. He then added another shot and was whistled for a delayed penalty.
The Wings didn’t stop skating, however, and Cleary tossed a centring pass to Zetterberg between the circles and his hard shot made it 3-0.
After Umberger ended the shutout, Zetterberg added an empty-netter.