Detroit — Will there be a lot of these games for the Red Wings this season?
Don’t be surprised if there are.
A script of playing competitively, staying close, but ultimately just not doing enough against a more experienced and talented team.
Columbus forward Artemi Panarin scored at 2 minutes, 11 seconds of overtime on Thursday to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
Panarin controlled the puck for a good portion of the shift, then weaved into the slot and fired a shot past goalie Jimmy Howard.
“Once they get possession there, it’s hard to get possession back,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Generally it’s not the biggest deal, you kind of call switches and protect the inside ice. You don’t want the best player in this game tonight, in Panarin, to get a shot from there.
“You have to make sure to identify him and he’s not the one beating you. We made a bit of a mistake there.”
The Wings were outshot 39-20, paraded to the penalty box (they killed 5 of 6 Columbus power plays) and spent too much time defending in a game they probably were lucky to get a point in the standings.
“We definitely have to stay out of the box,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “Stay disciplined. It’s tough when you’re in the box for a lot of the night.”
The Jackets had the puck in the Wings’ zone for long stretches, snuffing whatever momentum the Wings could muster.
“The ice got tilted too much the wrong way,” Blashill said. “When you’re in defensive zone coverage, it’s hard to establish a forecheck. We spent way too much time in D-Zone coverage. We had chances to get it out, and we didn’t get it out, so we have to be able to get it out smoother than that.
“We have to stay out of the box. That killed us in a lot of different ways.”
Wings coach Jeff Blashill gives his thoughts on his team's performance in Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets. Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News
Dennis Cholowski scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, while Tyler Bertuzzi scored a second-period power play goal. Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist assisted on both goals.
Cam Atkinson (power play) and Josh Anderson scored for Columbus in regulation.
Howard stopped 36 shots, enabling the Wings to salvage the point.
“Opening night you want to come out better and give your fans a great show,” Howard said. “It was a good hockey game and there were some good things to take out of it.
“We bent but we didn’t break.”
The Wings used four defensemen — three making their NHL debuts, and Joe Hicketts, who played in five NHL games last season — with little NHL experience, but they held their own.
“All of them had moments of good and not great,” said Blashill, who felt Filip Hronek and Cholowski had the two better games. “Let’s get better tomorrow.”
Cholowski moved down the slot and took a pass from Larkin out of the corner, then beat goalie Joonas Korpisalo for his first goal at 7:46 in the second.
“I saw him (Larkin) look over his shoulder and I just yelled as loud as I could. He made a great pass. I’m thankful he made the pass," Cholowski said. "I was happy, I thought I did pretty well for my first game. I would have liked to have won the game.”
But Cholowski’s turnover led to the Jackets taking a 2-1 lead a little over five minutes later, with Anderson — who came out of the penalty box — lifting a puck near the crease past Howard.
“The goal was nice, he showed real good poise,” Blashill said of Cholowski. “He made a mistake that resulted in a goal, but he didn’t let it affect him. He kept playing and had a pretty good game.”