Red Wings snap 7-game skid with 5-1 win over Jets
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) — If last weekend was rock bottom for the Detroit Red Wings, then this was a pretty strong response.
Gustav Nyquist scored twice, and the Red Wings snapped a seven-game slide with a 5-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
Fresh off a 10-1 loss at Montreal on Saturday, Detroit outshot Winnipeg 16-3 in the opening period and took a 2-0 lead. The Red Wings put the game away with three more goals in the third.
“It’s funny how a week in this league or two weeks can change a story,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “Two weeks ago I think a lot of people felt like we were in a great spot, and then two weeks later we’re not. Let’s change that story two weeks from now.”
Winnipeg, which entered tied for the NHL lead in points, managed only a second-period goal by Patrik Laine on a two-man advantage. The Red Wings answered in the third with goals by Nyquist, Darren Helm and David Booth.
Justin Abdelkader opened the scoring, and Detroit had a two-man advantage for 1:55 later in the first. The Jets killed off both penalties, but seconds after the second one expired, Nyquist lifted a rebound past goalie Connor Hellebuyck to make it 2-0.
“We came out with a purpose tonight right from the drop of the puck,” Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said. “We played hard for a full 60 minutes and when you get off to a start like that, you get rewarded, it’s a good feeling when you come in here after the first.”
Laine’s slap shot from the left circle beat Howard for his 14th goal of the season, and Detroit failed to take advantage of another two-man advantage later in the second.
With 15:05 left in the third, Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson took a shot that went into the net , with Hellebuyck ending up underneath both Nyquist and Winnipeg defenseman Josh Morrissey. After a long review, officials said Morrissey created the contact and there was no goalie interference. The goal was eventually credited to Nyquist.
“I’m just trying to get in front of the net. I don’t even know that the puck’s coming in there,” Nyquist said. “I feel like I get pushed in, I’m trying to get out of the blue paint and he kind of keeps me in there, but it was nice to see it count.”
Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler lost the puck in the neutral zone, allowing Helm to skate in on a breakaway to make it 4-1.
“The goalie interference call, I don’t know if we agree with that one. That shifted the momentum to them, and then one bounces over my stick for a breakaway goal. That hurts, because now we’re looking at a three-goal deficit,” Wheeler said. “Obviously a terrible first period, but we still had a chance to win the game in the third.”
Booth’s goal came on a 3-on-1 break and capped a forgettable night for the Jets, who were coming off a 5-0 win over Ottawa on Sunday in which they had 49 shots.
“We knew this was going to be tough, because that’s a good team that just took one of the worst losses in franchise history,” Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry said. “We had it to 2-1, and I thought we were in good shape, but we didn’t get that interference call and it made things easier for them.”
NOTES: Detroit hadn’t won since a 3-1 victory over Buffalo on Nov. 17. … Winnipeg’s Bryan Little played his 700th NHL game and went without a point. … Laine has 50 career goals in 101 games.
Jets: At the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Red Wings: Host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.