Gustav Nyquist scored twice as the Detroit Red Wings grew their winning streak to four games.
The Wings used their speed and shot mentality to best the San Jose Sharks, 3-0, tonight at Joe Louis Arena. Jimmy Howard earned his second straight victory with 30 saves.
Nyquist used the second period to put on a dominating performance, showing great skill on both goals. Rookie defenseman Ryan Sproul collected his second assist in two games. Andreas Athanasiou scored his fist goal of the season, and Thomas Vanek added his fourth assist.
Justin Abdelkader, who’d provided a net-front goal the night before, missed the game because of a mid-body injury. General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press Abdelkader is expected to be available Tuesday.
Following up on Friday’s 5-3 victory over Nashville, the Wings started well against San Jose, firing shots at Martin Jones. Overall, though, the first period was quiet, with neither side generating much in the way of offense. Tommy Wingels had the best chance of the period when he tested Howard with a backhand.
The penalty killers were back on duty in the opening minute of the second period, with Howard making two stops on Joe Pavelski.
Soon after, Nyquist got a pass from Jonathan Ericsson, raced up the right wing, slid to a halt in the circle, and sniped the puck in off the crossbar. Dylan Larkin nearly doubled up when he created a wrap-around attempt, but couldn't keep control of the puck. Tomas Tatar had a great chance when he rushed the net, but Jones stacked his pads on the shot.
Nyquist got it to 2-0 at 4:50. Sproul – who just earned his first NHL point with an assist Friday – got the puck off Matt Nieto when he tripped, and Nyquist used a Sharks player as a screen to beat Jones.
A bit of puck luck came the Wings’ way at the end of the second period when Brent Burns hit a goal post during a power play that spilled over by 1:03 into the third period. The Wings got their fourth power play seconds after killing off San Jose’s fourth, but despite good puck movement weren't able to convert.
Vanek fed a cross-ice pass to Athanasiou, who wound up a slap shot from the top of the left circle that went bar down to make it 3-0 six minutes into the third period. Howard made his 25th save when he dove on a shot from Logan Couture as fans chanted “Jim-my Howard.” The Sharks pulled Jones with about 3 minutes to play.