HAMILTON, Ont. - Gustav Nyquist scored once in regulation and then the shootout winner as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the host Hamilton Bulldogs 4-3 in the American Hockey League action on Saturday.
Jeff Hogan and Calle Jarnkrok also scored for the Griffins (2-0-1) while Nyquist added an assist for a two-point outing. Petr Mrazek made 21 saves in the win.
Greg Pateryn, Akim Aliu and Sven Andrighetto scored for the Bulldogs (1-1-0) as Robert Mayer stopped 38-of-41 shots in defeat.
Nyquist scored the lone goal of the shootout on the Griffins' third attempt.
The game's first scoring chance fell to the Griffins six minutes into the opening period, as a centering pass found Cory Emmerton alone in the low slot. But, Mayer was alert to the danger and moved into a butterfly to knock the puck clear.
Louis Leblanc drew a penalty at 9:34 of the first, when Brennan Evans was whistled for tripping. The Bulldogs quickly punished that mistake to open the scoring on the ensuing power play.
The puck shifted across the blue line to Pateryn and, with Patrick Holland drawing a screen in front of Mrazek, he released a low shot that bounced past the goaltender at 10:08.
Holland nearly extended the Bulldogs' lead in the opening minutes of the second, stickhandling to create space on the right wing, but rang a heavy wrist shot off the near post.
The Griffins evened the game at 9:12, when Evans' slap shot from the point took a fortunate bounce off the end glass and onto the stick of Nyquist to the right of the net, who elevated a backhanded shot over Mayer's shoulder.
But Holland and his linemates were not to be denied, and it was the Bulldog winger who created the game's next goal just 18 seconds later to retake the lead.
A centering pass came to Holland in the high slot and his second attempt on goal rebounded to Andrighetto on the right side, who slotted the puck comfortably into the vacant net with Mrazek out of position. The goal was Andrighetto's first in the AHL.
Hamilton, though, could not stay out of the penalty box, as the Bulldogs took four of the five minor penalties in the second.
That trend proved costly when Andrighetto was whistled for high-sticking at 17:49 of the second, and Grand Rapids struck to tie the game on the ensuing power play.
Nyquist found Jarnkrok with a well-weighted centering pass and the centreman did the rest, dropping low to one-time the puck past Mayer at 18:01.
The Griffins punished the Bulldogs for another unnecessary penalty early in the third period, after Martin St. Pierre was whistled for cross-checking at 4:28.
Nathan Paetsch's initial shot from the point on the ensuing power play took a radical bounce through the crease and slid to Hoggan, who only had to tap it past a downed Mayer.
Hamilton found the equalizer with the net empty and ten seconds to play, as Andrighetto's initial effort on net bounced to Aliu in the slot, who snapped a quick wrister just inside the crossbar.
Grand Rapids went 2 for 9 on the powe rplay while Hamilton scored once on three chances with the man advantage.