It is far too early in the season to magnify the importance of one game, but the Thursday night matchup between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning pairs two teams hoping to make some noise this season. The Blue Jackets (5-1-0) are tied for first place in the Metropolitan Division after a 5-2 road victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. The Lightning (5-1-1) are second in the Atlantic Division after a 5-4 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on the road Tuesday night.
The Detroit Red Wings viewed this week as a litmus test of where they stacked up against some of the NHL's better teams. A 3-2 loss Monday on home ice to the Tampa Bay Lightning was followed by a 6-3 setback Wednesday at Toronto during which the Maple Leafs scored on four of their first five shots. "It's one of those nights where it just kind of goes in for them," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said, "It just seemed that everything they threw at the net went in.