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>>caption: NASH'S THIRD OF 3<<
Columbus Capt. Rick Nash scored
his third career NHL Hat Trick to
carry the Blue Jackets past the
undermanned Red Wings, 3-2 in
overtime Tuesday night.
Nash scored shorthanded, on the power play and in the 4x4/OT.
The Wings' winless streak was extended to three games (0-2-1) and Detroit
has just two wins in their last half dozen.
The Red Wings were without semi-suspended DEF Nicklas Lidstrom and
FWD Pavel Datsyuk (not allowed to play by the NHL because they skipped
Sunday's All-Star Game in Montreal due to injuries), DEF Brad Stuart (rib
injury) and lost FWD Henrik Zetterberg during the 1st-Per (back spasms).
Thus, the Red Wings dressed one below the 18 skater limit and played
most of the game with only 16. It's a good thing Johan Franzen was able to
return to duty from a hip flexor injury.
Lidstrom and Datsyuk, who were not docked their pay but weren't allowed
to play, were along for the last leg of the six game ASG-interrupted road trip.
They traveled to Columbus just in case the NHL Players Association appeal of
their suspensions was given early consideration by the league.
Curiously, in goal for Columbus was Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Steve
Mason. The NHL leader in goals-against average and shutouts starting play
Tuesday, Mason played the last and first games before and after the break.
Yet Mason, who cited back spasms as a reason for skipping the "Young Stars"
game on All-Star Weekend, received no NHL-imposed penalty for doing so.
Marian Hossa (#23) gave the Wings a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at
8:55/1. Niklas Kronwall fired the puck off the backboards and Hossa swooped
in from the right wing to jam the rebound past Mason to the lower right corner
of the net. Hossa was left alone because two Columbus defenders were tied up
with Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom.
Mason later stopped Hossa on a cherrypicker break-in with 8-mins left in
Nash was robbed by Wings goaltender Chris Osgood twice in the first 6-mins
and once more late in the contest, but beat Ozzie three times anyway.
Nash first scored in the 2nd-Per to briefly tie the game 1-all. With Detroit on
a power play, Nash (#20) intercepted a sloppy pass by Wings DEF Derek Meech
at the Columbus blueline and streaked down the ice for an unassisted, shorthanded
goal through the 5-hole at 11:05/2.
Just 29-sec later Detroit went back on top again. The Red Wings won a faceoff
in the Columbus zone, the puck went to Brett Lebda at the point and Lebda (#2)
scored on a hesitation slapshot at 11:34/2. Mason's vision was blocked by a pair of
A few blinks later CBJ re-tied the game on a power play when Nash (#21) scored
his second. Looking to pass in front, Nash flicked the puck from the left corner
and scored from a wide-angle when the disc deflected off a back-checking Brian
Rafalski and behind Oz's back at 14:21/2.
It stayed that way until a bad circumstance goal ended it. Deep into the
overtime, Fedor Tyutin's left corner pass deflected off both Jackets teammate
Mike Commodore and Detroit's Kronwall and Osgood tried to swipe it away with
his glove. But Ozzie's arm wasn't long enough. Nash (#22), who'd started the play
by carrying into the offensive zone, was parked to the right corner of the net
and fired the puck over a diving Osgood at 3:27/4.
Each team had 23-SOG. Detroit was 1-for-2 and Columbus 1-for-3 on the power
The result ended a five game Detroit winning streak vs Columbus.
Both teams are now even in overtime this season, Detroit at 7-7 and
Columbus at 4-4.
RED WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: "We lost Z early...We were shorthanded
and we really battled hard...(When players are out) it's an opportunity for other
people to step up ...(and) I thought Lebda had his best game of the year...I thought
we were real good and yet they got the win...Everyone knows Nash is a real good
JACKETS H-COACH KEN HITCHCOCK: "[Nash] wants to finish the job and make a
run for this thing (possible playoff spot)... Rick's able to start at a high pace and
others are able to tag along. And that's what leaders are able to do."
Zetterberg has endured lower back problems during his career. The week
long All-Star layoff and some heavy hits in the 1st-Per combined to tighten
Zed's back. He played eight shifts and just under 6-mins.
Zetterberg was playing in his 400th career NHL regular season game. He
drew the secondary assist on Hossa's goal.
The Wings had scheduled a 2pm Wednesday news conference back in Detroit.
It is assumed the confab was called to announce a multi-year contract extension
It's expected Stuart will be sidelined a week or two with the ribcage injury he
suffered before the All-Star vacation.
Detroit's 35 wins over Columbus, including two this season, are the most
by any NHL team against another in this decade.
The Red Wings have scored a power play goal in six straight games.
Detroit dipped to 16-4-7 in one-goal games.
Nash's first goal was the first shorthanded goal Detroit had allowed all
season, leaving Philadelphia as the only NHL club which hasn't given up a SHG.
Nash's Hat Trick was his first since 12/31/2007 against Edmonton.
Manny Malhotra of the Jackets played his 600th NHL regular season game.
The Red Wings host Dallas Thursday night in a one game homestand.
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