Goals and Defense Wins Games

The Detroit Red Wings came out ready Wednesday night, scoring six goals on one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, Tukka Rask. Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Henrik Zetterberg and others were a part in the destruction of the Boston Bruins.Production in all aspects has been the Red Wings’ biggest fault in the 2013-2014 season, getting outscored by their opponents by a sizable margin in both the second and third periods. On Wednesday evening, goal scoring, defensive play and overall domination that the Wings organization is used to came back into effect.

“We work pretty hard most nights, [but tonight] we were rewarded,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We had puck luck and got some energy and got going. I think that was the biggest thing. We’ve played lots of good games this year; we haven’t won lots of games. That’s the fact, because we never score.”

Ironically, the scoring has increased since the addition of two young forwards. Tatar, who has three goals and five assists in 18 games, has become a massive asset for the Detroit Red Wings. The most important part is that if he isn’t playing up to personal standards, he makes sure that he is up to par the very next game.

“It’s been some time since I scored the last one, so this is a relief,” Tatar said, who hadn’t scored since Nov. 2 against the Oilers. “I had some huge opportunities before in games but just couldn’t put it in, so I was mad … now I’m really happy it went in, especially that we [got] the win against the Bruins. This is huge for us.”

Nyquist on the other hand, has had three goals and one assist in a mere four games played this season; the 24-year old native of Sweden, had a pair of points in Wednesday’s breakdown of the Bruins.

“They’ve made us way better,” Babcock said. “Nyquist has come and given us another real good player, so that we’d have a better team since he’s here.”

With Tatar and Nyquist joining the Wings’ starting forward lineup, as well as Johan Franzen and Darren Helm beginning to step up and become team leaders, Red Wing captain Henrik Zetterberg has less work on his shoulders.

“It’s nice to score goals, but tonight I think we had way better legs than Boston,” Zetterberg said. “The other two games we’ve played against [the Bruins] have been tough games, and that’s what happens sometimes in this League. Sometimes you don’t have the legs and it’s tough to play.

The Red Wings will be tested once again at 4 p.m. November 29 against the New York Islanders, to start a mini weekend road trip.

* * *

Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.

For more information on the Detroit Red Wings and NHL hockey from analysts and journalists at Michigan State University – tune into Octopi Hockeytown podcasts and embrace the Spartan debate at www.impact89fm.org/sports

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Austin Goodman is the host of Octopi Hockeytown for Impact Sports

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Scoring Summary:

1st Period:

DET – 11:49 – J. Abdelkader (Wrist) (J. Franzen)

2nd Period:

DET – 6:05 – T. Tatar (Wrap Around) (B. Lashoff, J. Andersson)

DET – 8:47 – H. Zetterberg (Snap) (G. Nyquist, N. Kronwall)

DET – 10:01 PPG – N. Kronwall (Wrist) (J. Franzen, H. Zetterberg)

3rd Period:

DET – 8:38 – D. Miller (Wrist) (J. Andersson, T. Tatar)

DET – 17:07 – G. Nyquist (Wrist) (J. Franzen, J. Ericsson)

BOS – 17:35 – J. Iginla (Wrist) (M. Bartkowski, R. Smith)

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Three Stars:

First: Henrik Zetterberg

(1G, 1A, +2, 1 shot, 1 hit, 2 PIM, 16:35 TOI)

Second: Niklas Kronwall

(1G, 1A, +1, 3 shots, 4 hits, 25:07 TOI)

Third: Johan Franzen

(3A, +3, 3 shots, 2 hits, 2PIM, 16:36 TOI)

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