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Brunner's career night

Swiss starts enjoys his first multiple-point game in the NHL

Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 8:38 PM ET / Recap
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Brunner\'s career night

Damien Brunner is congratulated by his Red Wings' teammates after he scored his second goal against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. (Photo by Dave Reginek)

DETROIT – Pardon Damien Brunner if he doesn’t follow the NHL with the scrutiny of a fantasy team owner.

Since arriving in Detroit this season, the Swiss import has been too busy meeting his personal expectations, and proving that he belongs in the NHL.

So when a reporter asked Brunner if he was aware that he was just two-goals shy of the league lead, a bewildered look cloaked his face.

“I am?” Brunner asked. “I have to be honest with you. Since I got here I feel like I have no time to study the stats, because I’m always sleeping and recovering and eating. I know that I have 10, but I have no idea, who is leading the league right now.”

Brunner was definitely wide-eyed Sunday evening, as he helped the Red Wings pour it on the Vancouver Canucks before a sold-out Joe Louis Arena. Brunner enjoyed his first multiple-point game of his NHL career, potting a pair of goals in the Wings’ 8-3 victory.

“I have high expectations for myself and I wanted to come over and prove that I can play in this league,” said Brunner, who also had two assists Sudnay. “When you play with guys like Zetterberg and Fil, and on the power play you have Datsyuk, Kronwall and Cleary, you get chances to score, when you get those chances you have to put them in. I'm happy they're going in right now.”

Brunner scored one of the Wings’ three power-play goals against Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who entered Sunday’s game with a league-best 1.45 goals-against average. The three power-play goals were a season high for Detroit, who had scored three goal on the power play in the last seven games.

“He’s a great goaltender, you have to keep putting pucks to the net and drive to the net hard and that's what we did,” Brunner said. “It's hard work, work ethic, I thought we did good in part of games that we lost. Finally put 60 minutes together.”

Having played with Brunner in Switzerland during the lockout, Henrik Zetterberg saw glimpses of what he thought would translate to the smaller ice surfaces of the NHL.

“He finds ways to score goals,” Zetterberg said. “He’s always in the right spot and when he gets a chance he’s got a good shot. He’s a hard-working guy and it’s his first year here and it’s fun to see him take advantage of it.”

Brunner now has 10 goals in 19 games, tying him with New Jersey’s David Clarkson for third among league goal-scorers. Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk is next with 11 goals. Five players entered Sunday’s action tied for the league-lead with 12 goals.

“It is amazing,” said Zetterberg, of Brunner’s hot start. “I played with him over in (Switzerland) and I saw that he has that special touch. … He has that kind of sense to be in the right spot in the right time, and he has a good shot. It is remarkable with this tough schedule. He’s not used to playing these many games in a short amount of time. So it’s good to see his consistency and hopefully he can keep it going.”

THREE STARS: 3, Joakim Andersson, DET (2 goals); 2, Damien Brunner, DET (2 goals, 2 assists); 1, Niklas Kronwall, DET (1 goal, 2 assists).

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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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