Gustav Nyquist's impressive goal-scoring streak has enabled the Detroit Red Wings to stake their claim to the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The NHL's First Star of the Week, Nyquist looks to continue his impressive stretch when the Red Wings visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. The Swede has recorded seven goals in his last five games and a blistering 18 in 23 contests.
Nyquist shot out of the blocks in a hurry on Sunday, when he scored his team's first two goals in the first period before Minnesota rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory. Columbus resides just two points behind the Red Wings but limped to its second straight loss and third in four games with a 2-0 setback to the New York Islanders on Sunday afternoon.
"There is no time to rant and rave," Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky said. "We've got to be ready to go for our next game."
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ABOUT THE RED WINGS (33-24-14): Detroit begins a stretch of four contests in six days against Eastern Conference teams - and how it fares in this group of games will go a long way in determining if the club secures its 23rd consecutive postseason appearance. After facing Columbus, Atlantic Division rivals Montreal, Toronto and Tampa Bay are on tap with the coveted third place in the division within sight.
"These are huge (games) and this is what it's going to come down to and who is going to make the playoffs," Nyquist said.
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (36-29-6): Sergei Bobrovsky has been a workhorse down the stretch and is expected to make his 19th consecutive start on Tuesday. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner came up large with 39 saves in Columbus' 4-2 home victory over Detroit on March 12 and owns a 4-2-1 career mark with a slim 1.97 goals-against average versus the Red Wings. The Blue Jackets' punchless power play continues to be a sore spot as the team has failed on its last 35 opportunities in the last nine contests.
1. Detroit G Jimmy Howard is 10-3-2 with a 2.00 goals-against average in his career versus Columbus.
2. The Blue Jackets recalled D Tim Erixon from Springfield of the American Hockey League and sent D Frederic St. Denis to the Falcons.
3. The Red Wings recalled LW Mitch Callahan from Grand Rapids of the AHL and assigned C Landon Ferraro to the Griffins.