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Tatar honors father's memory after goal

Red Wings' forward produces his fourth multi-point game this season

Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:34 PM ET / News
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Tatar honors father\'s memory after goal
Teammates rushed to Tomas Tatar after the forward scored the eventual game-winning goal for the Red Wings in the third period at Staples Center. (Photo by Getty Images)
Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar kissed his index finger and pointed toward the heavens.

Moments earlier, Tatar knocked in a rebound with 7:54 left in the game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings that was anything but an ordinary goal and worth far more to Tatar than just being the game winner in the Red Wings' 3-1 victory.

Goal No. 10 on the season was part of a two-point night for Tatar, who has scored in each of his past three games, and it was for family. Tatar's gesture honored his father Jan, who died Friday in Slovakia following a long illness.

Playing with a heavy heart, Tatar also came through late in the first period by setting up Riley Sheahan's first NHL goal.

"That game and that goal was for him," Tatar told reporters after the game. "I felt he was with us the whole game. It wasn't easy, but the guys helped me a lot. They helped me think about stuff other than my dad."

During the holiday break, Tatar returned home to see his father, but wasn't sure if he realized his son will be competing for Slovakia in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"I was hoping he could make it through," Tatar said. "I just wanted to work as hard as I could for my dad. This game was for him."

Detroit coach Mike Babcock was able to relate, having lost a parent at an early age.

"The way you honor your father and your mother and your past is by continuing to do what you should do and playing hard and doing things well," Babcock said. "He's going to have a different relationship with his dad now.

"I lost my mom early, too, and I pray to my mom every night during the national anthem. I never, ever wanted to let her down. He can be the same way. His dad is here with him. It's a different kind of relationship, but it can still be one that's real supportive for me."

Tatar will play for the Red Wings on Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks before heading home for his father's funeral. He will miss the game Thursday against the New York Rangers, but is thankful for the support from teammates who helped him get through an emotional evening.

"I can't be more happy with this group of guys," Tatar said. "They talked to me, helped me out, made me think about other stuff. I was ready to play the game."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59