A bit of four-on-four passing magic resulted in the first NHL goal for Detroit Red Wings rookie defenseman Alexey Marchenko, a goal that would spur his team on to a 4-3 win over the the NHL’s top team, the Nashville Predators.
With Nashville leading 3-2 early in the third period and with each team short a man, Red Wings’ forward Gustav Nyquist skated the puck through the neutral zone and fed a pass to teammate Justin Abdelkader at the Predators’ blueline. Abdelkader skated into the Predators’ zone along the right boards, turned and fed a pass back to Marchenko at the point. Marchenko then fed the puck to Niklas Kronwall at the left point, who in turn dumped a pass to Abdelkader in between the faceoff circles, with Abdelkader then feeding the puck over to Marchenko moving in from the right point.
Marchenko is in his second season of North American pro hockey after splitting time between the KHL and MHL over the course of the prior four seasons. The Moscow, Russia native has spent most of the past two seasons playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate. Marchenko was drafted by the Red Wings in the seventh round, 205th overall, of the 2011 NHL Draft.