Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader scored his first career NHL hat trick on Friday night, carrying the Red Wings to a 5-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks in the first of a pair of meetings between the teams.
The Red Wings’ win snapped Anaheim’s home winning streak at 13 games. Their last loss at home had been the home opener.
The Ducks thought they had gotten on the board midway through the first on a play in which Emerson Etem was ruled to have kicked the puck in behind Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. Teemu Selanne got one that counted with 8:29 remaining, however, tipping a pass from Kyle Palmeri past Howard on a three-on-two.
Abdelkader tied things up 2:05 later. After getting the puck in the neutral zone, Abdelkader broke into the Anaheim zone alone down the right wing. He got around Sheldon Souray in the corner and cut to the front of the net, shoveling the puck between Viktor Fasth‘s pads to make it 1-1.
After a scramble to the left of Fasth, Pavel Datsyuk corralled a loose puck on the other side of the crease and lifted it into the open side of the net on a Detroit power play to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 5:01 left in the opening period.
Abdelkader was back on the board at 3:06 of the second, snapping a shot from the left faceoff dot past Fasth and chasing the Anaheim netminder from the net. He completed the hat trick with 7:14 left in the middle period, snapping a shot past Jonas Hiller from the high slot after a Ducks turnover at the blue line.
Johan Franzen closed out the scoring with 4:43 left in regulation when his attempted centering pass to Abdelkader in the slot was deflected in off an Anaheim defender.
Datsyuk’s goal – the game-winner – was the only power play goal of the night. The Red Wings had two tries with the extra attacker while the Ducks had three.
Howard finished the night with 33 saves on 34 shots to earn the win. Fasth took the loss with eight saves on 11 shots in 23:06 of play while Hiller stopped ten of the remaining 12 Detroit chances.
The two teams will meet again at the Honda Center on Sunday.
With the win, the Red Wings improved to 6-5-4 all-time in the first game of two consecutive regular season games against the same opponent in the same venue.