Local Sports Journal

What a night for Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader and the Detroit Red Wings.

Abdelkader scored a three-goal hat trick, the first of his NHL career, in the Wings 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The game was played at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

It was Anaheim’s first loss in regulation since Feb. 25 and ended a 13-game winning streak on its home ice.

Detroit Red Wing Justin Abdelkader

Justin Abdelkader

Abdelkader had the first two-goal game career last weekend and with this latest surge, now has six goals.

On Friday, he scored at 13:36 of the opening period to tie the game at 1-all. That goal was assisted by Brendan Smith and goaltender Jimmy Howard.

He scored twice in the second period, including one at 3;06 and the other at 12:46.

“It’s real exciting playing with two world-class players,” Abdelkader told Fox Sports Detroit following the game. “Whether I’m in front of the net or they are passing me the puck, they are making a lot of plays out there. I’m the beneficiary of those two guys and I just have to try to keep working and get the puck to those guys.”

On his second red lighter of the night, Johan Franzen and Jakub Kindl assisted. He completed the hat trick with a goal assisted by Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk, who also scored a goal for the Wings.

Late in the third period, Abdelkader nearly had a fourth goal, but a crossing pass from Franzen deflected off a Duck defenseman and entered the net. Abdelkader nearly got his stick on the puck, but the goal was credited to Franzen since he was the last Wing to touch the puck. Abdelkader drew an assist to complete a four-point night.

After a slow start, Abdelkader scored his first goal of the season on March 7. The two-goal game came last week in a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. He went the first 23 games of the season without scoring a goal.