Las Vegas: Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill put a lot of weight in their four-game road trip. A season after missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years, Detroit were hoping a strong start could help chase away some of that disappointment.
So far, so good.
Gustav Nyquist scored twice as the Red Wings netted four goals in the third period to beat the Vegas Golden Knights 6-3 on Friday night, handing the NHL’s newest franchise their first loss.
The Red Wings finished their trip with back-to-back wins after beating Arizona on Thursday, overcoming James Neal’s sixth goal of the short season for Las Vegas to improve to 4-1-0.
“You can’t play from behind in this league in the standings, you can’t be climbing all year,” Blashill said. “We knew when we looked at our schedule, the stretch in the beginning of the year, it was a lot of road games, and the stretch at the end of the year, there’s a lot of road games. So, quick starts are a big factor in success.”
Henrik Zetterberg finished with a goal and two assists for Detroit.
“I think the start we had last night was nothing we’re proud about,” Zetterberg said. “I thought tonight didn’t go perfect, but it was better. I thought [goaltender] Petr [Mrazek] played well, made some key saves. Good to see.”
Vegas (3-1-0) is the first NHL expansion team to win its first three games.
Mrazek made 24 saves for the Red Wings, while Marc-Andre Fleury had 21 saves for Vegas.
After killing a penalty early in the third, Detroit’s Frans Nielsen and Zetterberg worked a 2-on-1 to perfection, ending with Nielsen slotting in what ended up being the winning goal past Fleury to make it 4-3.
Less than four minutes later, Nyquist jabbed in a loose puck after Fleury made a save on a hot from Anthony Mantha. Luke Glendening’s goal with 5:04 left finished the scoring.
It marked the first time Fleury allowed six goals since January 14, while he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins and also against the Red Wings.
The Wings tied it early in the third when Mantha snagged a loose puck headed toward the point, spun around and shot it past Fleury.
Erik Haula’s tip off Luca Sbisa slipped past Mrazek to give the Knights a 3-2 lead late in the second period.
The Red Wings outshot the Knights 27-26, including 12-6 in the third period, when they outscored Vegas 4-0.
Washington 5 New Jersey 2
Columbus 3 NY Rangers 1
Colorado 3 Anaheim 1
Ottawa 6 Calgary 0
Detroit 6 Vegas 3