Pie-eyed Nystrom getting big-league taste

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Eric Nystrom had more than one souvenir from his breakout game in the National Hockey League.

Along with the puck he tapped into the Nashville net for his first career goal, there's some video evidence in the Sportsnet vaults of his first shaving cream pie in the face during a live telecast, courtesy of Eric Godard.

"I didn't even see it coming. I wish it was a pie, it would have tasted better," Nystrom said, glancing across a few stalls at the culprit.

"All in my eyes. I had it in the back of my throat for the rest of the night.

"It went up my nose.

"He really got me hard. He smoked me."

Host Jamie Thomas saw Godard approaching from the side but had no idea what was about to happen.

"I just thought he was going to do rabbit ears," said Thomas. "Then you see the creaming, and he did one hell of a job recovering. Blind, but he kept going.

"Solid."

Solid is a good way to describe Nystrom's play in the 5-1 win over the Predators.

As impressive as the goal he scored to essentially lock up the victory with a three-goal lead, Nystrom blocked a trio of shots during a crucial penalty kill late in the final frame before his tally.

"He sacrificed himself," said head coach Mike Keenan. "You get marks from your teammates for doing that."

Nystrom considers the penalty kill an essential part of his game, and the blocks were a bonus as he did what he could to impress the coaches.

"I took one right off the top of the laces -- didn't feel so good -- but the other ones were right in the pad," Nystrom said with a laugh.

"I just tried to stay in the shooting lane and hope the puck hit me.

"Three times in a row. The guy was just teeing them up off me."

Nystrom had just enough time to get one practice in with the Quad City Flames before jetting back to Calgary after being sent down on the weekend.

He hadn't played a game since his 4:15 of ice time against the Sharks more than a week ago.

With a regular shift to go with the penalty killing opportunities, Nystrom dwarfed that debut by more than 10 minutes Tuesday.

"He wants to be a contributor. If he plays like that, he can help," said Keenan.

"It gives him a chance to come back and have another opportunity, and that's important."


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