As it turns out the only thing the Detroit Red Wings needed to break out of their funk was Gustav Nyquist.
The recent call up from the American Hockey League made an immediate impact in his first NHL game this season, scoring a pair of goals (including one just 17 seconds into the game) in the Red Wings' 4-3 win over the Hurricanes, snapping what had been a seven-game losing streak. It was probably one of the more complete games Detroit has played over the past couple of weeks and Nyquist was arguably the best player on the ice.
He was dominating in the AHL prior to his call up with 21 points in 15 games and he didn't miss a beat at the higher level.
Elsewhere, Henrik Lundqvist did it all for the Rangers as they stole one in Dallas, 3-2, despite a dreadful start to the game in the first period. Lundqvist kept his team in it by making 26 saves in the first period (Dallas attempted 41 shots to just 14 for the Rangers in the opening period) and setting up Rick Nash's first goal of the season.
The Sabres held a lead after one period for the first time this season but couldn't build on it in what turned out to be a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Tuukka Rask lost a shootout and tried to break things again.
All the NHL Scores
Predators 4, Maple Leafs 2
Flyers 4, Sabres 1
Red Wings 4, Hurricanes 3
Rangers 3, Stars 2
Oilers 4, Panthers 1
Sharks 5, Lightning 1
Devils 2, Kings 1
On Thursday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will the Red Wings win?
They did! And it probably wasn't as close as the 4-3 final score would indicate. Maybe they should keep that Nyquist guy around for a while. It seems like he's ready to play in the NHL.
2. How many assists will Joe Thornton get for San Jose?
Thornton added to his NHL-leading assist total by setting up Brent Burns for a goal during San Jose's 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Thornton now has 21 assists on the season.
3. Will Ben Scrivens allow more than two goals?
He allowed two in a 2-1 overtime loss. The Devils managed to get just 13 shots on goal and had just five through the first 46 minutes of the game. New Jersey was able to steal the win thanks to Jaromir Jagr's overtime winner and a spectacular performance from Cory Schneider in net.
4. Will Alex Steen keep scoring?
He did not score in regulation of the Blues' 3-2 shootout win in Boston, but he did score a goal in the shootout. Thursday was just the seventh game this season Steen did not score a goal. He is still tied with Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead with 17 goals.
5. Will Phoenix remain unbeaten in regulation at home?
Yes, but they still lost in overtime to Colorado thanks to a Ryan O'Reilly power-play goal. The Coyotes have still earned a point in every home game this season and now own a 9-0-2 record at Jobing.com Arena. They had the lead late in the third period but allowed Cody McLeod to tie it and send the game to overtime.
The one play or moment from Thursday that will be making headlines over the next couple of days.
What's going on with Phil Kessel? A player that usually averages around 19-20 minutes of ice-time per game, has been down near the 16-minute mark in three of the past four games. He played just 15:27 during Toronto's 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday. Randy Carlyle would only say "bumps and bruises are piling up" for all of the Leafs players when asked if Kessel is playing through an injury. In other words: Yes. Maybe. Well ... probably.
Stat of the Night
The Edmonton Oilers have totaled 15 goals scored in their last three games. Before the Panthers scored a second period goal in Edmonton's 3-1 win on Thursday, the Oilers had scored 14 consecutive goals. Even with all of this the Oilers still have the fourth-worst goal differential in the league at minus-20. The only teams worse are Calgary (minus-21), Florida (minus-26), and Buffalo (minus-33).
Post to Post
- Which teams are contenders in the Central Division?
- What changes can be made to the NHL's video review system?
- Bryan Allen and Luca Sbisa are not Norris Trophy contenders, just in case you thought they were.
- The Flames traded Tim Jackman to the Anaheim Ducks.