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Williams' hat trick lifts Wings over Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jason Williams added to his good feelings
about playing in Nationwide Arena.

Williams scored his first three goals of the season in the
opening 16 minutes, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-0 victory
over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

It was Williams' first career three-goal game. The last time he
played on the Blue Jackets' home ice, he scored twice in a 4-2
Detroit win, back in the spring of 2004.

"I do like playing here. It's a great rink," Williams said.
"I remember the last time I was here I scored two goals. It was in
the back of my mind."

Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk also scored
for the Red Wings (8-1-0), who won their fifth game in a row and
have the NHL's best record. Conversely, the Blue Jackets (2-6-0)
have the fewest goals (15) in the league and are tied for the
fewest points (4).

"We had nothing going tonight," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant
said. "There was one team playing tonight."

Datsyuk also had two assists, and Zetterberg added one. Manny
Legace had 17 saves in his second shutout of the season.

"We got off to a great start," Legace said. "We just got off
to a good start and the boys played good in front of me the rest of
the way."

Williams' first goal came after Robert Lang won a faceoff.
Williams skated in from just inside the left hash to ram a shot in
off the near post past Columbus goaltender Marc Denis.

Just 37 seconds later, Blue Jackets forward Michael Rupp threw
the perfect centering pass -- in front of his own goal -- to Franzen
for an easy goal.

Williams picked up his second goal off some precision puck
movement, with Tomas Holmstrom passing along the back boards to
Datsyuk, who put the puck on Williams' stick in the high slot.

Williams notched his third to make it 4-0 at the 15:54 mark
after Brendan Shanahan dug the puck off the wall and fed him near
where he picked up his second goal.

"Obviously our guys got prepared. You have to give our guys
credit -- they were real professional," Red Wings coach Mike
Babcock said. "We had our 'A' game early."

After a scoreless second period, the Wings made it 5-0 on Jason
Woolley's cross-ice backdoor pass to Zetterberg for an easy jam
shot at 7:11 of the third. Datsyuk then scored off a rebound at
14:09.

Denis surrendered four of the goals on 17 shots, with Martin
Prusek giving up two goals on 19 shots in his season debut for the
Blue Jackets.

Because of the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement, the
Red Wings had to cut loose a lot of veteran talent to get under the
salary cap. As a result, they seem younger, faster and hungrier.

"Everybody seems to be on the right page," Williams said.
"When everybody's working together, it makes it that much easier.
We're playing good as a team right now and hopefully we can keep it
going."

A quirk in the schedule has the Red Wings playing at Nationwide
Arena again Monday night.

"It's probably a good thing that we get back at them in 48
hours," Denis said. "We have a chance to make amends and redeem
ourselves here. I remember two years ago we went to Detroit and got
our lunches handed to us. We came back here and beat them at
home."

Game notes
Detroit is 4-0 on the road. ... Woolley extended his
assists streak to five games in a row and Mathieu Schneider and
Brendan Shanahan each have points in their last four games. ... It
was the second-worst home shutout for the Blue Jackets, topped only
by an 8-0 loss to Boston in 2002. ... The Red Wings were 1-for-4 on
the power play and Columbus 0-for-6. ... The Blue Jackets are 2-1
when they score first, 0-5 when they don't.