Oilers get hat tricks from Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — It had been 34 years since Edmonton Oilers teammates enjoyed a game like this.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl each scored three goals as Edmonton powered its way to an 8-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
The last time two Oilers posted hat tricks in the same game was 1985, when Paul Coffey and Jari Kurri also did it against the Kings.
“I’m happy for both of them,” said Edmonton captain Connor McDavid, who had a goal and three assists. “I’m not sure if I have seen two teammates get hat tricks in the same game, other than maybe in minor hockey. That was pretty cool.”
Draisaitl added an assist and Zack Kassian also scored for the Oilers (34-34-8), who moved within five points of a wild card in the Western Conference playoff race with six games remaining.
All of Nugent-Hopkins’ goals came in the first period.
“I don’t think I have done something like that since minor hockey,” he said. “It is something new to me, but definitely a good way to start the game. It is a lot nicer when you get the win, too.”
Alex Iafallo, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown and Carl Grundstrom scored for the Kings (28-40-8), who had won three straight.
“There is not much I can say about that one,” forward Anze Kopitar said. “Coming out in the second and getting the goals was obviously positive, but we can’t expect to win many games when you’re down 5-1.”
Los Angeles started the scoring just more than two minutes into the opening period as Iafallo stepped into a shot from the high slot that hit a stick and beat Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen to the glove side for his 15th goal of the season.
Nugent-Hopkins responded just more than a minute later, deflecting a pass from Alex Chiasson past Kings starter Jonathan Quick.
The goals kept coming as Draisaitl bobbed and weaved his way through the defense before scoring his 44th of the season.
The Oilers made it 3-1 midway through the first when Kassian picked the top corner for his 15th of the season.
Nugent-Hopkins scored his 27th on a long, high shot to give Edmonton a three-goal lead with six minutes to play. He completed his hat trick on a power play with 12 seconds remaining in the period. McDavid picked up an assist for his career-high 109th point of the season.
Jack Campbell replaced Quick to start the second period.
The Kings got one back eight minutes into the second when Doughty scored on a two-man advantage.
McDavid made a slick move in tight to score his 39th and make it 6-2 about 12 minutes into the period.
The Oilers kept it up with another goal a couple of minutes later when McDavid set up Draisaitl on the doorstep for his second of the game.
Brown got the Kings’ second power-play goal of the game with three minutes left in the second before Grundstrom struck on a 4-on-4 with 44 seconds left.
Draisaitl got the first regular-season hat trick of his career with 1:31 to go in the third, giving him 99 points on the season. He has 46 goals but is hesitant to talk about chasing 50.
“I try not to think about it,” he said. “I don’t want to put that pressure on myself, to be honest. I am happy with the year I have been having and I don’t want to take that mark as a reason to downplay my season.”
Kings: At the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
Oilers: Host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.