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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

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80