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Blashill earns first win as Griffs' coach

Jurco, Smith and Nyquist score in shootout

Sunday, 10.21.2012 / 9:05 PM ET / Recap
By Andrea Nelson  - Griffins Content Provider
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Blashill earns first win as Griffs\' coach

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TORONTO – Jeff Blashill earned his first victory as the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, as the team beat the Toronto Marlies 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday at Ricoh Coliseum.

Two days after allowing three power play goals to the Rochester Americans, special teams proved to be the difference for the Griffins (1-2-0-1) in the victory, as they scored two power play goals and successfully killed off all six of the Marlies’ opportunities.

The Marlies (2-3-0-0) tallied the first goal of the night on only their second shot on goal at 17:36 of the first period. Using pinpoint passing in transition, Leo Komarov found Joe Colborne skating up the right wing side. Colborne fed the puck right back to his teammate, and Komarov’s shot from the left wing circle broke the scoreless tie.

After being limited to six shots in the first period, Mike Kostka gave Toronto a 2-0 lead at 4:47 of the second. Jake Gardiner made a difficult pass from behind the goal line to Kenny Ryan, who then found Kostka just outside the blue line. The slap shot goal was Kostka’s second of the 2012-13 season.

The Griffins capitalized on their first power play of the game, cutting the Marlies’ lead in half at 8:18 of the second period. Tomas Tatar threaded a pass through Ashton’s legs to Gustav Nyquist, who was waiting at the right side of the goal. Nyquist’s shot slipped inside the right goal post past goaltender Jussi Rynnas, tallying the right winger’s first goal of the season.

The Marlies restored their two-goal lead at 11:13 of the second period. On a chip pass from Colborne, Korbinian Holzer took a long shot through traffic and tucked the puck inside the left goal post past a screened Tom McCollum.

The Griffins killed off three straight penalties, including two brief two-man disadvantages, before scoring their second straight power play goal at 16:27 of the second period. Rookie Chad Billins, who recorded his first three professional points in the game, drew the Marlies defenders to the right wing side, freeing up Tatar in front of the net. Tatar tucked the puck in the right corner on a backhand shot, notching his first goal of the season.

Nyquist tied the game at 6:53 of the third period off of a rebound on the doorstep. Riley Sheahan’s wrist shot was denied and dropped to the ice near the Marlies’ crease. Nyquist scooped the puck quickly into the net, scoring his second goal of the game to tie the game at 3-3.

Neither team broke the 3-3 tie, and Grand Rapids went into overtime for the second time this season. The Griffins entered the extra session on a power play, but Rynnas made four saves to aid the Marlies in killing off the penalty.

After a scoreless overtime, Tomas Jurco, Brendan Smith and Nyquist scored on all three of the Griffins’ shootout attempts, while McCollum stopped a trio of Toronto shooters to seal the victory.

Rynnas stopped 28 of 31 attempts while McCollum recorded his first win behind 20 saves.

The Griffins return home this week, playing the Charlotte Checkers Friday at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.

Three Stars: 1. GR Nyquist (two goals, shootout-winning goal); 2. GR Tatar (PPG, assist); 3. TOR Komarov (goal).

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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