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Nyquist nets highlight-reel goal in win

Legwand scores game-winning goal; veterans contribute six of game's eight points

Sunday, 03.30.2014 / 8:30 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant |
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Nyquist nets highlight-reel goal in win
David Legwand scored a goal with an assist in the Red Wings' 3-2 win Sunday over the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was Legwand's second game-winning goal since coming to Detroit at the NHL trade deadline. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT - There are only so many times forward Gustav Nyquist can attribute his scoring success to lucky bounces, good deflections and opportunities created by his teammates.

In Detroit’s 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay Sunday, the 24-year-old showcased one of the most skilled goals seen at The Joe this season.

With less than five minutes remaining in the first period, David Legwand found Nyquist streaking up center ice. Despite being hooked by Matthew Carle, Nyquist positioned himself in front of the Tampa Bay defenseman and miraculously stayed on his feet, spun around and craftily guided his shot from beneath the goal line off goaltender Ben Bishop’s left leg.

“Leggy made a real nice play up the middle and I just tried to get good body position on the D-man there to get an opportunity to score,” Nyquist explained. “Made that last move to my backhand and noticed that the goalie was out of the net. I lost the puck a little bit and it went behind the goal line there. I was hoping the goalie was still out of the net on the other side so I just tried to spin and get it on net as fast as possible. Nice to see it go in."

Although the play likely would have resulted in a penalty shot, no one was complaining that the forward netted the goal.

“Yeah it might’ve been but I think he’ll take the goal over the penalty shot any day of the week,” Legwand said.

The score extended Nyquist’s point streak to nine games, the longest by a Detroit player since Henrik Zetterberg had an 11-game streak from Dec. 2, 2010 to Jan. 10, 2011. Nyquist leads the NHL with 22 goals in 27 games since Jan. 20, including 12 goals since Feb. 26. After beginning the season in Grand Rapids, the forward is now tied for second on the team in scoring with 45 points (27-18-45).

“He’s feeling good about himself,” said coach Mike Babcock. “He creates space when he gets the puck. He’s faster with the puck then without it. He’s playing well for us.”

Nyquist has paved the way for a young Red Wings team that has rightly earned the nickname the “Red Griffins” this season.

Not only has the club seen as many as 13 players from Grand Rapids’ 2013 Calder Cup Championship team play in at least one NHL regular season game this year, but 24 of the club’s 49 goals since the Olympic break have been scored by members of that AHL team.

“I think all the young guys are really stepping up,” said Nyquist. “I thought we had a real solid game today. Our penalty kill was great, our power play was better today than it has been for a few games here. I thought we played solid so it was real nice to see."

But as well as the youngsters have played as of late, the team’s veterans have certainly stepped up as the playoff race continues to tighten.

Five veteran players accounted for six of the game’s eight points, as Legwand earned two points (1-1-2), while Niklas Kronwall, Daniel Alfredsson, Darren Helm and Johan Franzen recorded assists.

“Our veteran leadership group, Alfredsson and Legwand, neither of them were on the ice at the end after the timeout, but both guys were in helping out in the timeout,” Babcock said. “Mule’s really stepped up. Kronner has been fantastic all year. And we have a bunch of kids working real hard. We’re trying to find a way to get in the playoffs.”

Helm also earned a hat trick in Detroit’s 4-2 victory over Toronto Saturday and Franzen has netted seven goals, including a hat trick of his own, since the Olympic break.

With the victory, Babcock passed former Wings coach Scotty Bowman on the all-time winningest Detroit coaches list, and now stands in second place with 411 wins behind Jack Adams (413).

“Scotty should be in a class by himself,” Babcock said. “It’s not like I wanted to pass Scott Bowman, but I’m honored. He’s a good friend of my. I’m honored I get to talk about him here. We haven’t been as good lately, but we’re grinding and finding ways to win games so let’s keep going.”

Follow Andrea Nelson on Twitter @Nelson_Andrea




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


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
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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