Gustav Nyquist chose the best moment to make his contribution to the team. He came out stealthy in overtime where he prevented another grueling shootout to beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 at Canadian Tire Centre Saturday night. The Red Wings get their second straight win at a time where the road away from Joe Louis Arena begins to lengthen out.
Good news followed Detroit into the Canadian capital as Jimmy Howard earned the start for the game after suffering a groin injury Dec. 19. With the long holiday break, the Red Wings recharged and hoped to keep their success from Tuesday and begin a long road trip on the right side. Detroit has a big advantage over the Senators as they have taken one at home but lost on the road. With tremendous success on the power play, the Wings look to keep that part of their game rolling as they lead the league with 32 goals.
The Red Wings took their first power and nearly scored on two chances from captain Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader but their shots were just short. It gave the indication that Detroit had the potential to get one behind Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. Ottawa got their game underway late in the first period where a scramble from Bobby Ryan’s pass behind the net came to Mark Borowiecki whose shot was blocked for Mike Hoffman to score his eleventh on a rebound backhanding the puck over Howard. Before the period could come to a close, Abdelkader’s tenacity paid off with a drive to the board where he caught the puck and put one behind Anderson for his eighth. Though Detroit got the game evened up, the Senators were dangerous at home.
It showed in the second where they attacked the Red Wings during their possession forcing turnover after turnover to pressure Howard. With seven minutes left, they made their efforts worth all the hard work as Clarke MacArthur scored after his team took the puck away from the Red Wings who were trying to clear it out but failed giving the left winger ten goals on the year. The Senators were getting away from Detroit holding a good pace on possessing the puck and gaining the lead.
The Red Wings showed power in the third as they were all over the Senators end trying to get a good play to fire the puck behind Anderson. At the start of their third power play chance, Zetterberg got the puck and fired it while open on the glove side of the ice to get past his glove gaining his eighth. The game was once again tied and it was anyone’s to win or lose.
Detroit nearly countered on Ottawa’s power play where Darren Helm nearly scored one but was stopped. The Senators were fighting to get out front but Howard was showing strength to allow further scoring from them. He did in fact stop them from scoring for the remainder of regulation but went back to a point he didn’t want to return to as overtime would be required.
The period began with 3 on 3 as it would become a regular sight next season. The Red Wings had the Zetterberg line on deck and before they could set up a play another steal from Ottawa nearly left Erik Karlsson with a goal but went wide on the attempt. The Red Wings took the last few seconds to go all in and Nyquist attempts all game long made a lengthy possession of the puck count where he scored a sick an angled shot to win the game and pick up his 15th of the season.
“It was nice to get away from the shootout for once we haven’t been as successful in that so it’s nice to get a win in OT,” Nyquist told Fox Sports Detroit Reporter Trevor Thompson after the game. It was astonishing to see that he ran with the puck for over 28 seconds where his shot was self aimed that put it into the net. “I guess when there is ever to be a time to be selfish with the puck he picked the right moment,” said Howard about Nyquist.
“I was really impressed with Nyquist but It was a good win for our team, we didn’t skate good early but we dug in the third and we got playing a little bit and we were able to stick with it be mentally a tough enough to find a way to get two points,” said Coach Mike Babcock.
The victories that Detroit pulls off are always a team effort where Howard received a lot of credit. He tallied his 14th win making 31 saves after being off for over a week. “He looked solid he gives us a chance to win every time he plays and it’s nice to see him back here and looks great,” said Zetterberg of his netminder. “I thought he was solid,” Babcock said. “He didn’t give up second chances he was square he was out and he was big and he made big saves.”
The Red Wings get Sunday off before heading into Beantown where they face the Boston Bruins Monday night. It’s always fun when you win,” Nyquist said. “So let’s keep this going.”