DETROIT — The Blackhawks saw all during the regular season the difference a contributing third line could make with Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg playing some great hockey.
Now they’re seeing it against them as Detroit’s third line of Gustav Nyquist, Damien Brunner and Joakim Andersson continue to get the job done.
Nyquist had a goal in Monday’s 3-1 win over the Hawks in Game 3, and Brunner scored goals in Games 1 and 2 for the Red Wings. He also had an assist, giving him 8 points in 10 playoff games.
The Red Wings also got a key goal from the fourth line of Drew Miller, Cory Emmerton and Patrick Eaves.
It was Brunner’s pass high over Nick Leddy on Monday that allowed linemate Nyquist to chase down the puck in full stride, cut around defenseman Brent Seabrook and wait for Corey Crawford to commit before firing the puck into the empty net from the left side.
“Andy wins the draw off the board and Brunner gets it out, great job of lifting it out,” Nyquist said. “I’m crossing over, pushing the pace, and try to make a move on the defenseman.
“I went around him and faked a shot and tried to get Crawford down a little bit and then go around him. Fortunately, it went in.”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock praised Nyquist’s quickness.
“I don’t know how much speed he has, but he’s quick,” Babcock said. “He’s smart and he knows how to play without the puck, so that leads to good chances. He’s real good at hanging on to the puck and using someone’s push from behind to give him momentum.
“He’s like (Henrik) Zetterberg in that way. He can really hang on to it and control it and make good plays and see what’s going on. Brunner was good again (Monday). They’re very important players for us.”
If the Red Wings go on to win this series, a lot of the credit will go to the third and fourth lines.
“I thought our third and fourth lines were good,” Babcock said. “Patty Eaves and those guys are real physical, which is great. And there’s a real good skill set for Brunner, Andersson and Nyquist.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.