Nathan Walker had a hat trick in his season debut and the host St. Louis Blues defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 on Thursday.
Walker had only three career goals prior to his outburst.
St. Louis played with only 17 skaters due to health and safety protocols and injuries. The Blues called up Walker from Springfield of the American Hockey League on Wednesday due to their roster issues.
Colton Parayko, Ivan Barbashev and Marco Scandella also scored for the Blues, and Charlie Lindgren made 29 saves.
Robby Fabbri scored both of the Red Wings’ goals.
Walker scored his first goal with a wrister that deflected off a defenseman and trickled in between Alex Nedeljkovic’s pads. Brayden Schenn and Dakota Joshua were credited with the assists at 6:17 of the period.
After the Red Wings killed off two penalties, St. Louis made it 2-0 at 16:47.
After a pass from Niko Mikkola, Walker beat Nedeljkovic on the glove side with a shot from the left circle. Ryan O’Reilly picked up the second assist.
Fabbri’s first goal, 4:17 into the second period, put the Wings on the board. Dylan Larkin passed the puck to Lucas Raymond, who dropped it off for Fabbri at the right circle. Fabbri then fired it past Lindgren.
After Detroit killed off another penalty, St. Louis struck again with less than four minutes remaining in the period. Mikkola took a shot from the point that was deflected by Joshua. The puck got behind Nedeljkovic in the crease and Parayko shoveled it into the net.
The Red Wings made a goalie switch after the period, bringing in Thomas Greiss. He, too, was victimized by Walker, who deflected Torey Krug’s shot at 9:27. Scandella collected the second assist.
Barbashev made it a 5-1 game at 10:11 of the period off a feed from Krug.
Fabbri scored his second goal on a breakaway, backhanding the puck past Lindgren.
Scandella added an empty-netter in the closing seconds.
–Field Level Media