Gustav Nyquist drew cheers from the crowd early and quieted Little Caesars Arena late.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored early in the third period, and Nyquist added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds to help the Columbus Blue Jackets seal a 5-3 victory over the Red Wings on Tuesday night in his return to Detroit.
“It is something I’ll always remember, for sure,” Nyquist said after playing in Detroit for the first time as a visitor after playing 481 games for the Red Wings. “It was cool. This place is always going to be close to my heart after being here for so many years. It was nice to come back with a win.”
Nyquist extended his point streak to three games. He was given a round of applause by the fans when he was shown on the videoboards early in the game.
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored a tiebreaking goal in the first period off Nyquist’s no-look, backhanded pass.
“He’s aware of all situations with and without the puck,” Tortorella said.
Joonas Korpisalo stopped 18 shots for the Blue Jackets, who have won two straight for the first time in nearly a month.
Jonathan Bernier had 34 saves for the Red Wings, who have lost 14 of their last 16 games.
“We’ve got a whole lot of guys that are good hockey players in our room that aren’t playing as good as they can,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’ve got to find a way to pick it up and play lots better.”
Adam Erne scored his first goal in his 27th game with the Red Wings early in the first period and had another goal late in the opening period.
“It took a while but I’m just happy to get it,” he said. “Not happy that we didn’t come away with the win.”
Cam Atkinson and Bjorkstrand had goals 1:04 apart to put Columbus ahead midway through the first.
Tyler Bertuzzi redirected a puck in front to give the Red Wings their second lead early in the second, but it didn’t last long. Kevin Stenlund made it 3-all midway through the second period with his first NHL goal in his second game of the season and sixth of his career with the Blue Jackets.
Columbus was dominant, controlling the puck as if it was on a power play and making line changes while keeping the puck in Detroit’s end, and had a huge advantage in shots.
“I thought we played the style that they wanted,” Bernier said. “I don’t think we spent a lot of time in their zone.”
Bernier made 11 saves in the first and 13 in the second to give the Red Wings a chance to compete.
The goaltender did not have a defense for Dubois’ wrist shot that sailed past his glove and into the net to put Columbus ahead 4-3.
“It’s a game with not a lot of chances either way,” Red Wings center Dylan Larkin said. “They got their chance on DuBois going down there and they capitalized on it.”
NOTES: Columbus D Andrew Peeke was injured early in the game. “He’s out for a while,”” Tortorella said. “I think his hand is broken.” … The Red Wings assigned G Jimmy Howard to the AHL’s Grand Rapids to work his way back into playing shape after being out of the lineup since Nov. 27 with a mid-body injury. … Columbus scratched F Sonny Milano (upper body) and D Ryan Murray (lower body) with injuries for the second straight games. … Detroit put Jonathan Ericsson on IR with an undisclosed injury and recalled D Brian Lashoff from the Griffins. … Dubois has a team-high 11 goals.
Blue Jackets: Host Los Angeles on Thursday night.
Red Wings: Play at Toronto on Saturday night.
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