Where did all this offense come from? The Red Wings are missing Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and that's a lot of offensive ability. But the line of Johan Franzen, David Legwand and Gustav Nyquist made up for it Friday with a combined four goals and 11 points, leading the Red Wings to a 7-4 victory over New Jersey. That's also 20 goals the Red Wings have scored in the five games since the Olympic break ended; Detroit is 3-1-1 during that time. "That's been nice, that helps to win games," said Nyquist, who had a goal and three assists. "We've talked about how we have to be better defensively, and we still have to work on that a little bit. But it's been nice to score some goals to kind of help the defensive side." Franzen scored two goals and had two assists, and Legwand scored his first goal as a Red Wings and assisted on two others, to join with Nyquist's four points, as the Red Wings earned a key victory in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Franzen now has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in the five games since the Olympic break ended and he returned from a concussion. Nyquist's 16 goals tie him with Zetterberg for the team lead – Nyquist doing it in only 38 games (Zetterberg 45). For Legwand, it capped a whirlwind of a few days returning to his hometown and adjusting to a new team. "It's been quite a 48 hours for myself," Legwand said. "But we're getting settled down and getting a little bit more comfortable each day." Said coach Mike Babcock: "Legwand's line was outstanding. They really set the tone for us, did a great job." Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincey and Drew Miller had the other Red Wings goals. The seven goals scored were the most the Red Wings have scored this season (six previous high) – and the most Devils goalie Cory Schneider allowed in a game this season (five previous). With the victory, the Red Wings (29-21-13, 71 points) gave themselves a two-point lead over Columbus (69 points), three over Washington (68), four over New Jersey (27-24-13, 67 points) and six over Ottawa (65). Also, the Red Wings only trail Tampa Bay by two points for the other wild-card spot. "It's huge, every game is big now," said Nyquist of the victory. "It's such a tight race down the stretch. We're in a playoff spot but that can change tomorrow. It's just nice to get the two points." Patrick Elias (shorthanded), Jaromir Jagr and Adam Henrique (who added a third-period goal) scored in a 2:21 span in the second period for the Devils, giving New Jersey a brief 3-2 lead before Franzen tied it on the power play at 13:47. Goalie Jonas Gustavsson (21 saves) felt the Red Wings were going to survive the Devils’ rally. "We have a lot of guys who have been around," Gustavsson said. "They spread around what to do, keep calm. We'd been playing good other than two or three minutes. We took a good timeout there, and it was good to see the guys come back and score a few goals right away." Franzen's goal began a three-goal explosion (Nyquist and Quincey followed) in a span of 3:14 that gave the Red wings a 5-3 lead after two periods.
Legwand scores, Red Wings pummel Devils with seven goals
Detroit News | Mar 8