DETROIT - While one of Gustav Nyquist’s streaks came to an end Thursday night, another continued right along without skipping a beat.
Nyquist, who was riding a six-game goal streak heading into the Eastern Conference matchup against Montreal, failed to extend that streak in Detroit’s 5-4 loss. But the forward earned the primary assist on Johan Franzen’s tally that pulled the Red Wings within one goal of the Canadiens midway through the third period, which increased the 24-year-old’s point streak to seven straight games.
The Halmsted, Sweden native had a golden opportunity to net his 10th goal in seven games with 2:43 remaining in the second period, but defenseman P.K. Subban buried the scoring opportunity to keep Nyquist off the scoreboard for the first time since March 14.
Nyquist’s goal streak was the longest stretch of scoring by a Wings player since Daniel Cleary netted a goal in six straight games from Nov. 5 to Nov. 17, 2010, and just one game shy of tying Brett Hull’s seven-game goal streak (Nov. 26 – Dec. 8, 2003).
“I didn’t know he had the streak but I’m not surprised, he was a great player,” Nyquist said of Hull. “I had no clue about the streak.”
Nyquist was named the NHL’s first Star of the Week Monday after recording seven points and helping Detroit earn seven of a possible eight points over a four-game stretch last week as the club moved back into a wild-card spot. The forward currently leads the NHL in goals (20) and points (31) in 25 games since Jan. 20.
After beginning the regular season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Nyquist is now scoring at a 43-goal and 73-point pace over 82-game season despite netting just one goal over an 18-game period from Dec. 1 through Jan. 18.
“I can’t say that I expected to score this many goals,” Nyquist said. “Again, I think all the young guys have done a good job. Injuries have created a lot of opportunities for different players and we’ve grown more confidence from it.”
Nyquist’s 25 goals this season exceed his previous career high of 23, achieved in 58 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2012-13. He currently ranks fourth on Detroit’s roster in scoring, six points behind leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg (48).
“Some of the goals have been off pretty good deflections as well, so it’s nice to see the puck go in,” said Nyquist. “It’s been a crazy year with injuries, we’d like to have some key players back, but we’ve gotten an opportunity to play a lot more minutes and in different situations. That’s given us all some more confidence.”
If Nyquist scores five more goals this season, he will become Detroit’s first 30-goal scorer since 2008-09, when Marian Hossa (40), Johan Franzen (34), Pavel Datsyuk (32) and Henrik Zetterberg (31) hit that mark.
Follow Andrea Nelson on Twitter @Nelson_Andrea
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