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Merzlikins shuts out Red Wings, Blue Jackets win in shootout

Merzlikins got his second shutout of the season and seventh of his career.
Credit: AP Photo/Jay LaPrete
Columbus Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins, right, makes a save against Detroit Red Wings' Sam Gagner during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio.

Patrik Laine and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored in a shootout and the Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

Laine deked Thomas Greiss and beat him between the pads to lead off. Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins denied Jakub Vrana and Adam Erne and Bjorkstrand’s shot sealed the win.

Merzlikins, who had 41 saves and made two great stops in the waning seconds of the overtime period, got his second shutout of the season and seventh of his career.

Greiss had 33 saves for the Red Wings, who have lost five of their last six.

The bottom two teams in the Central Division generated lots of chances but had trouble finishing mostly disjointed offensive pushes. It was a big one for the Blue Jackets, who would have lost 10 straight for the first time in franchise history. They were 0-7-2 and hadn’t won in three weeks.

Detroit’s best offensive effort was in the second period when Jakub Vrana got a breakaway and beat both Blue Jackets’ defensemen down the ice but Merlikins made the stick save. Later Vladislav Namestnikov got a look at a wide open net from a sharp angle but missed with the shot.

An early first period Blue Jackets goal by Bjorkstrand was waved off after a video replay showed Eric Robinson was offside entering the zone.