Cleary's Hat Trick Carries Red Wings over Blue Jackets

Dan Cleary's first career hat trick helped lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 7-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night in a see-saw matchup between the Central Division foes.

The third meeting in the last eleven days between the two teams saw the Red Wings score the first three goals before Columbus countered with four of their own. Detroit then answered with four more to retake the lead as the game closed.

Cleary's third of the game was the game-winner for Detroit, came with the Red Wings on the power play and 5:19 remaining in the game. Robert Lang, who assisted on all of Cleary's goals, rifled a shot from the left circle that was deflectd by a Columbus defender before being knocked out of the air and past goalie Fredrik Norrena by Cleary.

Detroit had tied the game 3:17 earlier on a strong individual effort by Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk held the puck in the Columbus zone at the right point on an attempted clear by the Blue Jackets, then carried along the blue line and down through the left circle - weaving around defenders the whole way - before lifting a shot into the top of the net.

In the final two minutes of play, Datsuk added a second goal and Danny Markov scored into the empty net to close out the scoring.

Cleary had opened the game's scoring 4:21 into the opening period, setting what was then a new career high with his 15th goal of the season. He would add to that total with 4:00 remaining in the first to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.

Henrik Zetterberg stretched Detroit's lead to three goals at 8:45 of the second before the Blue Jackets took over.

Ron Hainsey scored a near-side goal from the left circle to get Columbus on the board with 7:28 left in the middle period and David Vyborny added another 1:28 later, stealing the puck from Nicklas Lidstrom before moving in alone on goalie Chris Osgood and outwaiting him.

A pair of early third-period power plays put the Blue Jackets out in front, with Dan Fritsche picking off a clearing attempt by Niklas Kronwall and firing it past Osgood at 3:15 and Adam Foote scoring on a blast from the blue line 2:02 later.

Osgood finished the night with stops 21 on 25 shots against, while Norrena made 29 saves on 35 shots.

Detroit had three chances on the power play, scoring only once. Columbus had four tries and picked up two goals.

The Red Wings' next game is Sunday night when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Detroit's annual New Year's Eve game.

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User Comments

Oh man, Cleary gets the Wings on the board early off a smart play by Lang but Hudler can't make it a two goal lead, losing the puck on a breakaway. Crazy start.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 12/28/2006 at 7:19 PM

 

Wow. I'm shocked that Mickey Redmond was able to control himself after Norrena's check on Cleary. And if I'm Ken Hitchcock, I'm telling my goalie to stay in his damn net, the starter is already hurt, don't need the backup hurt too.

Great set of passes to set up the third Detroit goal. Columbus is playing like they're dizzy, not calm at all, not in control.

And as soon as I say that, Columbus pulls it together to get a goal.

The Jackets continue buzzing, they're within one now. Not often you're left lamenting the puck being stolen from Nick Lidstrom.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 12/28/2006 at 8:21 PM

 

I'll be damned if that wasn't a perfect storm of suck. Kronwall blows an outlet pass and Osgood is relaxing at the same time. Either of them is on, that doesn't happen.

And after not a damn thing was called in the second, we've got two calls on Detroit in the third. CONSISTENCY, you assholes!

And another power play goal. Guys? It's a lot easier to score when you're not in the box and it's in the Columbus end.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 12/28/2006 at 8:58 PM

 

And Datsyuk says "f*ck that noise, I'll do this sh*t myself." Amazing individual effort to tie things back up.

Cleary! A power play goal of their own and the Wings are back in front!

When you're on, you're on. Datsyuk banks it in from behind Norrena. Not wrapped up, but close now.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 12/28/2006 at 9:21 PM

 

I had to wonder myself what the hell was going on with some of those calls.

Posted by SYfanSD on 12/30/2006 at 6:44 PM

 

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