Jason Williams’ first career hat trick and Manny Legace’s second shut out of the season was more then enough for the Wings to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets. The game was also marked by the return of Kris Draper after getting hit in the eye with a puck earlier this week.
Williams’ hat trick came in the first period, starting the scoring for the Wings. Five minutes in and off a face off in the left circle that Robert Lang won, Williams stepped in and flicked the puck past Marc Denis on the short side.
Williams’ second goal came on the power play when he took a pass from Tomas Holmstrom from behind the net. Williams’ one-timed it from the right slot giving the Wings a 3-0 lead.
He completed the hat trick from a Brendan Shanahan pass at the right half boards. The Blue Jackets had sent the puck around the boards to clear when Shanahan trapped it. Williams fought to control the pass and wristed it past Denis from between the circles.
Johan Franzen helped the Wings tally a 4-0 lead in the first period. His goal came only 17 seconds after Williams’ first goal. Michael Rupp sent a pass across the middle of the Blue Jackets’ own zone trying to clear and Franzen hopped on it, scoring unassisted.
In the third period the Wings opened up their lead with goals from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. Zetterberg scored just as a power play expired on a pass from Jason Woolley seven minutes into the period. This was just seconds after Datsyuk has scored a power play goal that was called back for goaltender interference. Datsyuk’s goal came at 14 minutes in off a rebound that Blue Jacket goalie Martin Prusek couldn’t handle from a shot by Zetterberg on a 3-on-2 break.
Legace only faced 17 shots for his shut out. Marc Denis made 13 saves on 17 shots in the first 15 minutes of the first period before being pulled. Martin Prusek, making his debut for Columbus, had 17 saves on 19 shots.
The Wings were 2 for 5 on the power play, though the first and fifth power plays equaled a total time of 5 seconds. The Blue Jackets had 7 power play opportunities.
The Wings will stay in Columbus and face the Blue Jackets again on Monday night.