DETROIT — Even though a playoff berth is very unlikely, the Columbus Blue Jackets are playing as though they still have a shot at the postseason.
Scott Hartnell scored the go-ahead goal and Sergei Bobrovsky made 41 saves to help Columbus top the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Thursday night.
Fedor Tyutin and Cam Atkinson added goals, and five players had assists as the Blue Jackets won at Detroit for the second time in two tries and won the season series 2-1.
Justin Abdelkader had the lone goal for the Red Wings. Jimmy Howard made 23 saves.
"It was one of those games we should use as an example and move forward," Tyutin said after he scored his third goal of the season. "We always get up for these games. These guys are really good."
Detroit has lost three of five since completing a six-game, nine-point road trip.
Abdelkader put the Red Wings on the board with a power-play goal midway through the first period, but Columbus took a 2-1 lead to intermission after Tyutin and Hartnell scored in the final six minutes.
Atkinson made it a two-goal lead late in the second when he broke free during a power play and sent a wrist shot over Howard's left shoulder.
"They didn't get a ton of chances, but the chances we gave up, we didn't give our goalie a chance," Babcock said.
Detroit had two power plays in the third period but managed just two shots on Bobrovsky. The Red Wings outshot the Blue Jackets 42-26, but few of their 13 attempts in the final frame were good scoring chances.
"We did a lot of good things," Columbus coach Todd Richards said after his team's second straight win. "We had a couple of big penalty kills in the third period."
Abdelkader and Kevin Connauton each received fighting penalties midway through the second period after a brief dustup. Neither player landed a significant punch.
It got worse for Abdelkader later in the period when his hooking penalty led to Atkinson's goal.
Detroit remained third in the Atlantic Division after the loss but watched Boston, which defeated Tampa Bay 3-2 on Thursday, close to within five points.
Howard said the Red Wings aren't seeing anything new.
"I think every team in the league goes through a period like this," he said. "We've just got to find a way to fight through it."
The Red Wings, who had so much success on their last road swing, begin a four-game trip Saturday in Philadelphia.
NOTES: Columbus forward Nick Foligno returned after missing Tuesday's win at Carolina due to the flu. The Blue Jackets also activated D Ryan Murray (ankle) from the injured list. ... Red Wings F Stephen Weiss was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. ... The Blue Jackets were without forwards Brandon Dubinsky (illness), David Clarkson (oblique), Jeremy Morin (heart), Boone Jenner (back), and Matt Calvert (concussion). ... Detroit forwards Johan Franzen (concussion) and Darren Helm (oblique) and defenseman Alexey Marchenko (oblique) were out.