Final

Series (Game 2 of 6)

Detroit leads 4-2

Game 1: Wednesday, November 17th
Blues3Final
Red Wings7
Game 2: Wednesday, December 15th
Blues2Final
Red Wings5
Game 3: Thursday, December 23rd
Red Wings3Final
Blues4
Game 4: Thursday, January 20th
Red Wings4Final
OT
Blues3
Game 5: Saturday, March 12th
Red Wings5Final
Blues3
Game 6: Wednesday, March 30th
Blues10Final
Red Wings3

Blues 2

(14-10-5, 33 pts)

Red Wings 5

(20-7-3, 43 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 15, 2010

Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

1 2 3 T
STL 0 1 12
DET 0 3 25

N. Lidstrom (Red Wings - D): Goals: 3, Assists: 1

D. Cleary (Red Wings - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

H. Zetterberg (Red Wings - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 4

Nicklas Lidstrom's first career hat trick powers Red Wings past Blues

Associated Press

DETROIT -- Nicklas Lidstrom crossed off about the only thing left on his NHL to-do list.

The star defenseman scored three goals for his first career hat trick and added an assist to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Wednesday night.

"You always think you're going to get one, sooner or later. You've got to continue to shoot the puck and hope for some bounces," Lidstrom said. "You can't quit shooting the puck, that's the key to everything."

The 40-year-old Swede, a six-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenseman, has helped Detroit win four Stanley Cup titles and also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP.

"He doesn't screw up! And if he does, it's really quiet. He's just the perfect professional," Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said. "He goes about his business in the right way and I think that's why everyone really has that perception of him. He comes to work every single day not only during the season but during the summer."

The Red Wings captain had 19 two-goal games in his 19-year career before breaking through.

"Well, obviously being a D-man, they're [hat tricks] not going to come very often. Good for him," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said about Lidstrom. "He's done everything else, might as well do that. We needed a big win tonight and we got it. That's what's most important."

Dan Cleary added a goal and two assists, Niklas Kronwall also scored, Henrik Zetterberg had four assists and Howard made 19 saves for Detroit, which had lost three of its last four games at Joe Louis Arena.

Carlo Colaiacovo and Brad Winchester scored for St. Louis. Jaroslav Halak stopped 32 shots.

Halak also praised Lidstrom.

"He's a great player. He shows it every season," Halak said about Lidstrom. "If he's not the best, he's one of the best defensemen in the league."

The Red Wings scored twice in the final 3:53 of the second period to take a 3-1 lead.

Kronwall got his seventh goal on a shot from the top inside edge of the left circle and Cleary poked in a rebound for a power-play goal and his 14th of the season with 2:22 left.

Lidstrom added his second goal on a power play 2:46 into the third period, beating Halak with a slap shot from the point. Winchester's power-play goal 6:42 into the third period closed the deficit to two. He tipped in Alex Steen's shot from the point.

Lidstrom completed his hat trick with an empty-netter in the final minute for his seventh of the season.

"I was aware of it, that I hadn't had one, especially when you're 0 for 19 years and you know you haven't had one," he said. "I knew I had a chance there."

Lidstrom opened the scoring 4:02 into the second period when Halak couldn't handle his knuckling shot from the top of the left circle. Colaiacovo tied it 1:18 later on a backhander.

"It moved. It dropped two or three feet in front of me," Halak said.

Game notes


Lidstrom is the second Detroit defenseman to record a hat trick since 1985-86. Mathieu Schneider did it twice. ... St. Louis defenseman Erik Johnson left the game after getting tangled up with the Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk in the first period. Blues coach Davis Payne said there was no update on Johnson after the game and the team would have something on Thursday. St. Louis was already without forwards T.J. Oshie (broken ankle), David Perron (concussion symptoms) and Andy McDonald (concussion) and defensemen Roman Polak (wrist laceration) and Alex Pietrangelo (upper-body injury). ... Blues center Vladimir Sobotka was helped to the locker room after taking Darren Helm's shot off his leg with 6:52 left. There was also no update on his condition.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES