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BLUE JACKETS (23-22-5) at RED WINGS (31-13-6)
TV -- FS-Ohio (HD); FS-Detroit+ (HD)
Last 10 -- Columbus 3-5-2; Detroit 6-3-1
Season series -- It's the fifth of six meetings between the Central Division rivals. Detroit has won three of the first four, including both games at Joe Louis Arena, where the Jackets haven't won in their last five visits.
Big story -- While the Wings continue to stay comfortably in front of the Central Division -- seven points ahead of Nashville with two games in hand -- and can worry about who they'll play in the playoffs, the Jackets are on the verge of not getting to the postseason. They've dropped to 14th in the tight Western Conference race and are will have to step it up to avoid missing the playoffs for the ninth time in their 10 seasons.
Blue Jackets -- Columbus is hoping for good things from 2009 first-rounder John Moore after recalling the 20-year-old from AHL Springfield on Thursday. The Jackets won't say if he'll make his NHL debut against the Wings, but he certainly sounds like he's ready to play at a higher level.
"I think I'm (ready)," he told the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline. "I know what my strengths are, I know what I have to do, night in and night out. That's what it means to be a pro, to bring a certain level -- a high standard -- to the rink every night."
Red Wings -- Johan Franzen has 4 points in four games against Columbus this season, but that's nothing compared to the numbers he put up in the Wings' 7-5 victory at Ottawa on Wednesday. Franzen became just the third player in team history to score five times in a game -- and the first NHL player since Alexei Zhamnov in 1995 to do it on the road.
"Guys were setting me up all night," Franzen said. "Hank (Henrik Zetterberg) and Bert (Todd Bertuzzi) didn't want to shoot it themselves, they were just trying to set me up."
Who's hot -- Jackets captain Rick Nash had an assist in Tuesday's 7-4 home loss to Chicago to extend his points streak to nine games. … Zetterberg is coming off a three-assist performance on Wednesday.
Injury report -- Columbus is still without defenseman Rostislav Klesla (knee) and forward Ethan Moreau (ribs), though Moreau is skating at practice. … The Wings had hoped center Pavel Datsyuk (broken hand) would be ready, but he won't play until Saturday at the earliest. Forward Danny Cleary (broken ankle) returned against Ottawa.
Stat pack -- Nash has three of his five career hat tricks against the Wings. … Amazingly, Franzen's five-goal game was his first regular-season hat trick -- though he did score four times against San Jose during last spring's playoffs and a pair of hat tricks against Colorado in 2008. He now has 116 goals in his last 214 regular-season and playoff games, including 26 goals this season.
Puck drop -- Needless to say, Franzen's big night was the talk of the Wings' practice on Thursday. His teammates hope that one of the NHL's streakiest scorers is ready to go on a roll.
"When he got those two really quick, we talked on the bench that this might be his night," Zetterberg told mlive.com. "He is a streaky goal-scorer.
"You just try to find him and give him the puck. Just told him to keep shooting. He had a few chances to get more than five."