Calvin Pickard makes 21 stops as Red Wings beat Blue Jackets

Adam Erne and Robby Fabbri scored 29 seconds apart in the first period and Calvin Pickard made 21 saves in his first start of the season, helping the Detroit Red Wings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday.

Anthony Mantha also scored for the last-place Red Wings, who were coming off an embarrassing 7-1 loss at Nashville on Thursday night. Dylan Larkin had two assists.

Detroit had 15 of the game’s first 17 shots and capitalized twice while stopping a three-game losing streak.

Pickard earned his first NHL win in more than two years. He had come on twice in relief this season, including Thursday.

"My games at this level have been few and far between in the last few years, but I know I’m capable of playing here and I know I can step in and give these guys a good start," Pickard said. "They made it a lot easier on me, though."

Erne deflected a Filip Hronek shot from the point past Elvis Merzlikins to open the scoring. Danny DeKeyser also assisted on Erne’s sixth goal.

Fabbri’s goal came after a pretty combination from Filip Zadina to Larkin, with Fabbri finishing for his team-leading 10th goal at 8:58.

"Playing with the lead all night was huge," Pickard said.

Columbus got on the board midway through the second period. Nick Foligno finished a wraparound pass through the crease by Alexandre Texier for his sixth goal. Boone Jenner also got an assist for his eighth straight game against Detroit with a point.

Mantha gave Detroit a 3-1 lead 4:42 into the third, finishing a pass from Larkin after Patrick Nemeth found Larkin alone on the doorstep.

"I think these guys care and I think they were embarrassed in the Nashville game," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "They showed up (Friday) and worked their tails off and they showed up today and worked their tails off. Now they need to do it again (Sunday)."

Merzlikins made 31 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three straight.

"I talked about this prior to the trip, it’s going to be a very important trip for this organization," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "Not only now, as far as what type of gumption we have, but also projecting what your team is going to be in the future."

Columbus is fighting to get back in the playoff race in the Central Division.

"We need wins, it’s no secret," Foligno said. "And there’s a recipe in order to get them in this league and how you have to play. Early on, that wasn’t it."


It was Pickard’s first NHL win since Nov. 23, 2018. That night, Pickard made 31 saves to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-0 win against the New York Rangers.

Saturday was Pickard’s 13th NHL game since then.


Texier was called up from the Columbus taxi squad on Friday. Center Mikhail Grigorenko was added to the taxi squad as the corresponding move.


Erne’s goal was his fourth in March after scoring twice in the first 16 games of the season. It’s a career high for goals in a month, breaking his previous high of three in November 2018 for Tampa Bay.


The teams play again Sunday.