Nicklas Lidstrom has done many things in his career—except score a hat trick. That changed on Wednesday
The Detroit Red Wings defenseman got the first hat trick in his 20 years in the NHL as the Wings snapped a scoreless rut in a 5- 2 win over St. Louis.
Niklas Kronwall and Dan Cleary also deposited goals for Detroit and Henrik Zetterberg added four helpers in the win. Jimmy Howard stopped 19 shots to rebound after a shaky performance in his last start. Howard gave up five goals and his Wings were shutout behind 51 saves from Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick on Monday.
Carlo Colaiacovo and Brad Winchester scored for St. Louis, who have won just five of their last 17 games. Jaroslav Halak stopped 32 shots in the loss.
Lidstrom’s first tally at 4:01 of the second period snapped a 93:49 scoreless drought, dating back to the third period of Saturday’s win over New Jersey. Zetterberg skated across the blue line on a two-on-one rush with Lidstrom, then fed a pass to the captain who fired a bouncing knuckleball shot past a surprised Halak.
Lidstrom scored on the power play 2:46 into the third, slapping a shot that deflected in off a Blues defender to give the Wings a 3-1 lead. Then with Halak pulled for an extra skater with 30 seconds to go, Cleary fed a pass from the corner back to Lidstrom at the point, who ripped a shot through several Blues defenders into the empty net to seal the victory and the hat trick.
The game was tied at one midway through the second after Colaiacovo backhanded a shot under Howard's arm only 1:08 after Lidstrom scored to put the Wings on the board first. St. Louis self-destructed after that, taking five consecutive penalties to tip the game toward Detroit.
Kronwall got the lead back moments after a penalty to Vladimir Sobotka penalty expired, firing a wrist shot past Halak from just above the faceoff circle. Then with David Backes in the box for a cheap cross-check on Tomas Holmstrom, Lidstrom let a shot go from the point that Halak stopped, but the Blues’ netminder was unable to corrale the rebound. Cleary deposited the loose puck for a 3-1 lead and his team-leading 14th goal.
Winchester made the game interesting in the third when he tipped in a shot from Alexander Steen past Howard on the power play to slice the lead to 4-2, but the Blues could not muster anything more.