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Evander Kane picked up his first hat trick in a Stanley Cup playoff game, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman each had two goals, and the Edmonton Oilers dominated the Los Angeles Kings for the second straight game, posting a 8-2 victory in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Friday night.
Kane is the 12th different player to score a playoff hat trick with the Oilers and the first since Connor McDavid in 2020. He was part of an Edmonton offense that put up eight goals in a playoff game for the first time since it beat Chicago 8-4 in a 1990 conference final game.
“We’re a real good team with the lead. I think scoring early, countering their push there in the first period and getting two was a good start for us,” Kane said. “We knew we had a lot better after that first period going in the second. I thought we did a great job of responding to the push ourselves.”
Edmonton Oilers left wing Evander Kane, center, celebrates his goal during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings Friday, May 6, 2022, in Los Angeles. It was his third goal of the game. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
It is the second straight game with at least two goals for Kane, who came to the Oilers in midseason after he was released by San Jose. The last time an Edmonton player accomplished that was Bernie Nicholls in 1992 in Games 2 and 3 of the 1992 Smythe Division Semifinals, also against the Kings.
Kane had a pair of rebound goals in the second period and finished the hat trick with a wrist shot with 20 seconds remaining.
“He’s a finisher, someone who can score, and he’s paired up with Connor (McDavid) who is one of the best playmakers in the world, the best player in the world. If you pair a finisher with the best player in the world, good things are going to happen,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said.
McDavid added a goal and two assists for the Oilers, who have scored six or more goals in consecutive playoff games for the first time since Games 4 and 5 of the 2006 Western Conference Finals against San Jose.
The Oilers have a 2-1 lead in the series. Game 4 is Sunday night in Los Angeles.
“We’re just finding ways to win games. That’s all that matters this time of year. It doesn’t really matter how it looks or what happens,” McDavid said. “I think we’ve done a good job of playing well, playing hard, we’ve been physical. They kind of pushed back today and I thought we responded well.”
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and assist for the Oilers. He is the third Edmonton player in the past 25 years to score in each of the first three games of a postseason, joining McDavid (2020) and Bill Guerin (1998). Cody Ceci had three assists and Mike Smith made 44 saves.
Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist while Phillip Danault also scored for Los Angeles, who had a 45-37 advantage in shots on goal. Jonathan Quick and Cal Peterson each allowed four goals with Quick making 13 saves in 28 minutes and Peterson stopping 16 shots the final 32 minutes.
“I can summarize it all up for you, we can all go home. We weren’t any good, we’re really disappointed, we got trapped playing their game. You can ask me about individuals, I’ll give you the same answer for all of them. They weren’t any good, and we have to regroup tomorrow,” coach Todd McLellan said in a press conference that only went 31 seconds.
It was the first time in Hyman’s seven-year career he has had a two-goal game in the playoffs.
Nugent-Hopkins scored his goals in a 81-second span during the third period.
Edmonton won 6-0 Wednesday night and built a five-goal lead midway through the second period of this one as it took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Draisaitl took a cross-ice pass from McDavid on a 2-on-1 rush and slid a wrist shot past Quick 3:50 into the first period to open the scoring.
Edmonton didn’t waste any time extending its lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal at 6:07. McDavid drew in a defender and then found Hyman open at the back post.
The Oilers then put it away with three second-period goals in a span of 3:24.
Kane knocked in a rebound at 6:27 and Hyman chased Quick at 7:42 with a wrist shot to the near post to make it 4-0. Kane then put a rebound through Petersen’s legs at 9:51.
Los Angeles averted a shutout 16 seconds after Kane’s second goal when Kopitar went top shelf on a backhand in front of the net. Danault got the Kings within 5-2 on a power-play goal at 17:29.
“That’s a big slap in the face tonight, and we gotta regroup. Luckily, it’s only 2-1 in the series, so we gotta regroup and step up next game,” Danault said.
McDavid — who has six points in the series (one goal, five assists) — has multiple points in each game. It is the first time since Joe Murphy and Nicholls in 1992 an Oiler has had multiple points in each of the first three games of the postseason.