COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thomas Greiss made 22 saves and the Detroit Reds Wings scored three goals in the second period to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Friday night.
Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist, and Joe Veleno and Danny DeKeyser also scored in the second period for the Red Wings, who are dueling with the Blue Jackets to stay out of the Central Division basement as they play out the final weekend. Detroit leads Columbus by one point in the standings ahead of Saturday’s finale.
Gavin Bayreuther and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Blue Jackets, who have lost 12 of their last 14. Matiss Kivlenieks, seeing his first NHL action this season, had 31 saves.
Greiss, who was the NHL First Star of the Week after back-to-back shutouts last week in regulation, is 6-0-3 since April 4.
Bayreuther got his first goal as a Blue Jacket 1:43 into the game, unloading a shot from the point that sailed over the glove of a screened Greiss. In the second, Gerbe got in back of Detroit defenders and beat Greiss for his his first goal of the season.
But the lead wouldn’t hold up.
Veleno got his first NHL goal late in the second, snapping in a shot from the right circle on a power play. DeKeyser tied it 58 seconds later, grabbing a rebound off the back wall and beating Kivlenieks from a sharp angle.
Vrana victimized the young Blue Jackets goalie two minutes later with his team-leading 18th goal at 16:52 to give Detroit a 3-2 lead. Vladislav Namestnikov added two empty-net goals late in the game to cap the scoring.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy