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Lidstrom picks up 1,000th career point

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – With two assists on Thursday night, Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom became only the second Swede to amass 1,000-points in NHL history.

“It feels great to finally reach it. It’s been a few games and people were talking about it so it felt great to do it at home as well,” Lidstrom said. “It means a lot and something that I’m very proud of and I’m happy to be among the other great players to reach 1,000 points.”

Early in the third period, with the Wings clinging to a one-goal lead, Lidstrom joined former Toronto captain Mats Sundin as the only Swedish-born players to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

Lidstrom’s milestone point came on a tip-in goal by follow Swede Henrik Zetterberg, who redirected Lidstrom’s shot from the point that went over the left shoulder of Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick. The goal, at 3:24 of the third, gave the Red Wings a 3-1 lead en route to a 5-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena.

Career point No. 999 came on a tip in front of the Kings’ crease by Tomas Holmstrom that put the Wings up 2-1 in the second.

On the list of all-time NHL defensive scorers, Lidstrom is currently eighth, joining the exclusive company of Ray Bourque (1,579), Paul Coffey (1,531), Al MacInnis (1,274), Phil Housley (1,232), Larry Murphy (1,216), Denis Potvin (1,052) and Brian Leetch (1,028).

Murphy, who has witnessed Lidstrom's skill and leadership -- both as a teammate (1997-01) and as a TV analyst -- praised him for his consistency.

"He's at the point of his career, because of what he has done to now that it seems with every game he is going to break some sort of record," Murphy said. "It's just the way it is, and rightly so. I mean, Nick Lidstrom is one of the greatest defenseman of all time. He's done it all. The guy that makes the game look so easy, but it's not. Count on him, game in, and game out."

Lidstrom, a Red Wings' third-round pick in 1989, is already the franchise’s all-time leading defensive scorer and ranks fourth among all Wings’ scorers during his 18-year NHL career. He reached the 1,000-point milestone in 1,336 career games.

As far as the hardware goes, Lidstrom has grabbed more than his share. In addition to being the first European-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy when he helped the Wings to their third Stanley Cup in six seasons in 2002, he won another Stanley Cup in 2008 and has won the Norris Trophy six times as the league’s best defenseman. He’s also has a pair of international gold medals, including one from the 2006 Winter Olympics with Sweden.

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