Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 12/13/11
Chemistry doesn't normally happen immediately in hockey. To hear Eric Nystrom tell it, there might as well have been Bunsen burners involved. Nystrom was put on a line with veterans Vernon Fiddler and Radek Dvorak more than a month ago and the unlikely trio quickly found strangely familiar ground for the Dallas Stars. "Honestly, it was pretty easy right off the bat," Nystrom said. "When you have chemistry with a guy, you can't really explain it. But for some reason, whenever I'd be open in the slot, the puck would come right there because they knew where I was going to be. "When the puck goes to certain places, I'd be in a spot and they would know ... it's just one of those things you can't really explain." Few observers could have explained or predicted that the Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak line would become one of the more productive third lines in the NHL. They have combined for 13 goals and 16 assists since November, and Nystrom and Fiddler are on pace for career highs in points. "It wasn't any rocket scientist that put it together," first-year Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We looked at it and thought, 'We've got three guys with speed and they work hard.' They've given us a good checking line. Certainly they've surpassed expectations offensively for us. But you've got three hard-working guys who take pride in how they practice and how they play and how they prepare and you see they've had success." Dvorak is a former 31-goal scorer who is on his sixth team. Fiddler is a career plugger and skilled faceoff man. Both were July 1 free-agent signings that flew rather under the radar. Nystrom, on the other hand, has turned into one of the better stories around the league. Waived by Minnesota, he was playing for the Houston Aeros when Dallas traded for him on Oct. 12 to get off the salary cap floor. Gulutzan sat Nystrom the first two games to get him integrated into their system. Nystrom soon put together a four-game goal-scoring streak in November and potted two against Toronto on Nov. 26. His 10 goals are tied with Loui Eriksson for the team lead as of Monday night, and he's 12th in the NHL with a 25.6 shooting percentage. In other words, Nystrom is playing as if his career is on the line. "Last year wasn't a great year for me, and I felt that the team kind of gave up on me," Nystrom said. "That kind of put me on a mission to prove myself. Getting put on waivers and clearing two times, you know, that really made me get on a mission to prove that not only can I play in this league and make an impact. That's my mindset every single practice, every single game. I'm going to keep going as hard as I can every night." Nystrom has always had light on him because he was the 10th overall pick in 2002, and because of his father, Bobby, a member of the New York Islanders dynasty teams of the 1980s. "It was a tough time on my parents, too, because they knew I was disappointed, and that's hard on them as parents to see one of their children in a tough spot," Nystrom said. "But I never was negative at all because my parents were there to support me, pick me up and give me encouragement. They're so thrilled with how things shaked out and (I've got) a chance to be on a team with great guys and playing well. They're very happy." By all accounts, Nystrom has been a welcome addition in the Stars' room. "Maybe he got out of the good graces in Minnesota a little bit, but (general manager) Joe (Nieuwendyk) did a good job and did his homework and checked into the background," captain Brenden Morrow said. "He's a good character guy. He came into the locker room and fit in really good. I think he's flourished under this system. The coaches have had some trust in him, and he's earned everything he's got." As far as that chemistry, Nystrom pointed out that all three of them are "straight-line guys," which breeds predictability. "No one has to guess," he said. "When a guy has the puck in a certain spot, I know exactly what he's going to do with it. He doesn't try to do too much or do anything off the charts, and that makes it predictable. And when we're all doing that, it's effective."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rich Hill blames himself after losing no-hit bid on walk-off

Mitchell Trubisky getting first-team reps, will get time with starters Sunday

Protest movement a polarizing problem for NFL

The crazy AL wild-card race is a beautiful mess

Klay Thompson not worried about money breaking up Warriors

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Vikings troll Aaron Rodgers with tweet to ex-girlfriend Olivia Munn

Report: Young Bulls players 'can’t stand' Dwyane Wade

MLB contenders in the best shape for a World Series run

Report: Kyrie Irving told Cavs he wouldn’t report to training camp

Report: Browns looking to trade Osweiler, Colts potential destination

Rob Gronkowski has given up alcohol with new diet

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

The 20 biggest storylines heading into the 2017 NFL season

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker