Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

Scary stick hit has Wings' Nyquist facing ban

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Red Wings wing Gustav Nyquist is facing an in-person hearing with the league's Department of Player safety for high-sticking Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon in the face during Detroit's 6-3 loss Sunday.

An in-person hearing means Nyquist can be suspended for at least six games.

In the first period, Spurgeon cross-checked Nyquist from behind during a puck battle along the boards. Nyquist responded by turning around and using the tip of his blade to hit Spurgeon in the face.

"Two inches closer, the guy could have speared his eye out," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Nyquist was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking. Spurgeon left the game but returned and played 22:16.

Nyquist said he didn't mean to do it. "My stick gets caught, I am trying to get body position on him," Nyquist said. "I'm happy he was out there again. I had no intention of doing that. … It looks bad, but I'm happy he's okay. Obviously, I've got to have better control of my stick."

Zach Parise scored twice and Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for the Western Conference-leading Wild. The Red Wings have lost four straight and have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

'Chewbacca' does it all: Sharks defenseman Brent Burns scored the tying and winning goals, played a game-high 25:46, took 11 of the San Jose's 38 shots and blocked three shots in his end in a 4-1 over the host Devils.

"He's the best player on the ice every night," said forward Joe Thornton of the teammate nicknamed "Chewbacca" for his copious amount of facial hair. "It doesn't matter who you play. It's very impressive to watch."

Burns has 24 goals, and his 59 points are only two behind NHL leader Connor McDavid of the Oilers.

"No, not really," Burns said in his usual low-key fashion when asked if he focused on the scoring title. "I think you look at everything. You're looking at other guys on your team, the other guys you're playing. We hear about it all the time from (reporters) about stats."

Game highlights: Tuukka Rask posted his first career regular-season home win over Montreal by making 25 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and the Bruins improved to 3-0 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy with a 4-0 win over the Canadiens.

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