DETROIT – Gustav Nyquist’s last goal in March was probably his finest.
At least that’s what one cable network thought, identifying his goal in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Tampa Bay as the best highlight-reel play among ESPN’s Top 10 plays of the weekend featured on “SportsCenter”.
“I did not see that,” said Nyquist, who leads the Wings with a career-high 27 goals this season. “That's cool, I guess.”
Also copacetic, albeit, expected, was news Tuesday that Nyquist was named the Second Star of the Month for March by the National Hockey League. It was just a week ago that the league recognized Nyquist as the First Star of the Week on March 24.
Nyquist finished the month with the second-most goals (12) and was tied for fifth with 18 points to help the Red Wings post a 7-6-2 record and move into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. He scored in nine of 15 games, including a six-game goal streak – the longest by a Red Wings’ player since Daniel Cleary scored in six straight games in November 2010.
While Nyquist’s accelerated development has caught some by surprise, his teammates, including Daniel Alfredsson, who played with the 24-year-old Swede in the Sochi Olympics, isn’t amazed.
“I don’t know if there’s a huge difference, I mean, he made a pretty good entrance in his first game (of the season). I think he scored two goals,” Alfredsson said. “I think he’s really confident and really knows how to play all areas of the ice and not just scoring goals. He’s been great at that but I like his work ethic, his attention to details, and just being a young guy who is leading by example for everybody.”
Since the Olympic break, Nyquist has led the team’s youth movement, scoring 13 of the Red Wings’ 50 goals. He also leads the league with 22 goals in 27 games since Jan. 20, plus he’s on a nine-game point streak, which is the club’s longest since Henrik Zetterberg’s streak in 2010-11.
Nyquist registered three two-goal games in March – vs. Toronto (Mar. 18); vs. Minnesota (Mar. 23); and at Columbus (Mar. 25) – and posted a career-high four point night against New Jersey Mar. 7. He also leads the Red Wings with five game-winning goals, including two last month.
In just 50 games played, Nyquist is tied for second, with Alfredsson and Niklas Kronwall, with 45 points. At his torrid pace, Nyquist would have 45 goals in a full 82-game schedule.
Boston forward Jarome Iginla and Philadelphia center Claude Giroux were named first and third stars of March, respectively.
Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose
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