The puck has been wrapped with tape and commemorated for the occasion. Hats have been flung on to the ice. But Dennis Wideman insists that he did not score his first career hat trick Friday night in Washington’s power-play fueled 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
With 1:19 remaining in the game, Wideman fired a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle while Brooks Laich stood in front, screening Toronto goaltender James Reimer. The puck wound up in the back of the net, that much is certain, but whether Laich redirected it en route was unclear from the replays available immediately after the game.
“The third one went off Brooksie. So I’m pretty sure that one’s going to come back,” said Wideman, who requested the NHL review the play. “I’ve never had one [a hat trick] before, still haven’t had one.”
Regardless, the night will mark Wideman’s first four-point game and at least the first two-goal game of his career.
“If you get one you want it to be honest,” Wideman said. “You don’t want a cheap one.”
Asked if he touched the puck on the goal in question, Laich responded with a bit of a sheepish smile. “I don’t know,” he said. “Don’t want to talk about that.”
If Wideman’s third goal remains his, it will mark the first hat trick by a Capitals defenseman since Sergei Gonchar did so on Jan. 4, 2000. The NHL won’t review the play until Saturday, so for at least a night it will stand as a hat trick.