Vasyunov’s first NHL point gives Devils third victory of the year

(Courtesy of Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

For the second time this season Alexander Vasyunov was called up from Albany to New Jersey’s roster.  The first time came at the expense of countryman Ilya Kovalchuk but tonight he had the chance to play at the right wing with Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias.  A strong effort was rewarded as he intercepted an Anaheim pass in the neutral zone during the third period and lead the rush into the offensive zone.

Vasyunov passed the puck back to Patrik Elias who ripped the puck past Jonas Hiller, giving Vasyunov his first career NHL point. Although finishing the game with just under 13 minutes played, all of which came on special teams, 2 shots and a plus1.  He was also rewarded with the trust of Devils Coach John MacLean.  With a minute and a half left the coach felt he had been playing good enough to get a big defensive shift.
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Comrade of the Night – Pavel Datsyuk

Datsyuk dances with Corey Perry (AP)

There isn’t much that Pavel Datsyuk can not do. A seasoned veteran and four-time Lady Byng Award recipient, Dats has been a model of consistency for the Detroit Red Wings since the lockout. Our second straight Comrade of the Night from Yekaterinburg, Datsyuk’s skills were on full display in Detroit’s home opener against the Anaheim Ducks.

Five minutes into the 2nd period, he scored a trademarked Datsyuk goal – one that makes your jaw drop in amazement, “How did he just do that?” – to give the Red Wings a 3-0 lead. Detroit’s top unit was seemingly able to skate circles around the statue-esque Duck defenders as partner-in-crime Henrik Zetterberg took the puck at the blue line and passed it rather innocently down to Datsyuk, who was parked several feet to the left of Jonas Hiller. Instead of taking the pass, Datsyuk somehow calculated the exact perfect angle to redirect the puck through Hiller’s 5-hole, leaving everyone at JLA clueless.

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