In his 1442nd game, Lidstrom recorded his first NHL hat trick, along with an assist, during a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Lidstrom has 19 career two-goal games and finished his first hat trick with an empty netter with 30 seconds remaining in the game. Henrik Zetterberg(notes) had a hand in each of Lidstrom's goals and finished with four assists on the night. Danny Cleary(notes) had a three-point night, including his team-leading 14th goal of the season.
Tied at one apiece heading into the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks, Fleichmann turned the final frame into his own with a hat trick en route to a 4-3 win. Flash opened the period with two power play goals 1:56 apart to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead. Craig Anderson(notes) made 35 saves for his fourth win in a row and Matt Duchene(notes) added two helpers, both on Fleischmann's power play tallies.
A worthy second second star tonight as Kesler recorded his first career hat trick as Vancouver got past the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime to improve to 7-1-1 over their last nine.
Michael Ryder's(notes) goal in the third period cut the Sabres' lead to 2-1, but 32 seconds later, Stafford would score his second of the night and capped off his third career hat trick with a goal four minutes later as Buffalo prevailed over the Boston Bruins 3-2. Derek Roy(notes) assisted on all three goals and Ryan Miller(notes) made 32 saves to improve to 5-2-1 since returning from injury.
Honorable mention: Mark Recchi became the ninth player in NHL history to reach 1,600 career games ... Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) scored twice for his first multi-goal game of the season as New Jersey blanked Phoenix 3-0. Martin Brodeur(notes) made 29 stops as the Devils snapped their five-game losing streak. New Jersey rookie Mark Fayne(notes) scored his first NHL goal ... Scoring four times in a 6:19 span in the third period, the Rangers upended the Penguins 4-1, sending Pittsburgh to their second straight loss after winning 12 consecutive games. Brian Boyle(notes) and Alexander Frolov(notes) each scored and added an assist, while Henrik Lundqvist(notes) made 27 saves. Despite the loss, Sidney Crosby(notes) extended his points streak to 20 games ... Ryan Getzlaf's(notes) overtime winner sent Washington to their seventh straight defeat as the Ducks beat the Capitals 2-1 ... Sergei Bobrovsky(notes) made 38 saves and Jeff Carter(notes) (three points) and James van Riemsdyk(notes) (two goals) led the way for Philadelphia in their 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens ... Mike Smith(notes) made three saves in the shootout and Victor Hedman(notes) scored the clinching goal as Tampa Bay edged Atlanta 2-1. Before the win, the Lightning received good news as captain Vincent Lecavalier(notes) returned to the lineup after missing 15 games with a hand injury ... Tuomo Ruutu(notes) scored twice 1:28 apart in the third period as Carolina fought back from 3-0 down against Florida for a 4-3 win. In relief of Cam Ward(notes), Justin Peters(notes) stopped 21 of 22 shots for his first win of the season. Evgeny Dadonov(notes) scored his first NHL goal in the loss for Florida ... Sergei Kostitsyn(notes) and Colin Wilson(notes) scored 44 seconds apart late in the third period as Nashville came from behind for a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Anders Lindback(notes) made 25 saves for his fourth straight win ... Tom Sesito of the Blue Jackets scored his first NHL goal and Rusty Klesla played in his 500th NHL game ...Tim Thomas(notes) gave one lucky fan in Buffalo an early Christmas present:
Did you know? "The Sabres are 10-3-2 against backup goalies and 3-11-2 in games in which they faced the starter. Two of those wins came in shootouts." (AP)
Dishonorable mention: Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford(notes) allowed four goals on 23 shots and lost his third straight start ... New York's win over Pittsburgh was dampened a bit after they lost Ryan Callahan(notes) to a broken hand after blocking a shot ... Cam Ward allowed two goals in the first two minutes of the game and was pulled ... Jan Hejda's(notes) boarding call put the Canucks on the power play that led to Kesler's winning goal.