Good looks lead to Ladd's first hat trick

Andrew Ladd recorded his first career hat trick on Sunday against the Red Wings. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The only unfortunate part of Andrew Ladd’s first career hat trick was it came in a losing effort Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings.

“It’s nice,” Ladd said. “I would’ve liked the win rather than the hat trick. At this point in the season we need to put a lot more emphasis on games.”

Ladd scored his first of the afternoon in the opening period after John Madden created a turnover in the offensive zone and the puck came out to him near the circle to the left of Jimmy Howard.

His second and third scores came in the final period. A nice setup by Kim Johnsson put him in a good scoring spot not far from where he tallied his first goal. Then, later in the period, Ladd crossed near the slot as a shot came in from the point by Duncan Keith. He knocked it down, making it change directions and then getting by Howard.

“There were good looks, obviously,” Ladd said. “The turnover on the first one, [then] Kim [Johnsson] found me on the second one. The third was just going to the net.”

Ladd has four goals in his past two games and seems to have found some energy.

“I’ve been feeling better lately and getting some looks,” Ladd said. “It seems to kind of come in waves, sometimes. I definitely think I can contribute in that aspect.”

His play hasn’t gone unnoticed by his coach, and it’s not just because he’s scoring. Ladd also either led or tied for team highs on Sunday in shots (six), hits (four) and block shots (three). That’s more than just a good game.

“Laddy had a great game,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I thought he had great speed. He had good energy and a good forecheck and a good stick. He stood out today as far as his energy and his finishing as well.”

Ladd’s three goals were the first hat trick for the highest-scoring team in the conference.