Connor McDavid collected a hat trick and five points to lead the host Edmonton Oilers to a 7-1 thrashing of the slumping Calgary Flames on Saturday night.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected two goals and an assist while goaltender Mikko Koskinen made 43 saves for the Oilers, who have won nine of 11 games, including a pair on consecutive nights against their Alberta rivals.
McDavid, the NHL’s leading point producer but who was held off the scoresheet in Friday’s 2-1 victory, kicked off his night by setting up Alex Chiasson’s power-play goal 3:29 into the clash. It’s the fifth straight game Calgary has surrendered the first goal.
After Nugent-Hopkins doubled the lead with his first of the night just over two minutes later — a goal set up by another crossing pass from McDavid — the Flames got on the board when Andrew Mangiapane tucked home a loose puck during a scramble for a power-play goal at 7:54.
From there, though, it was the McDavid show. He netted his first of the game late in the opening frame by deflecting Tyson Barrie’s point shot for his team’s second man-advantage marker with 2:49 remaining in the opening frame.
Then, McDavid added to the lead with a highlight-reel-worthy tally 66 seconds into the middle frame. After stealing the puck from Noah Hanifin at center, he raced down the wing to the right face-off dot and slung a shot inside the far post.
McDavid completed his eighth career hat trick — and his seventh career game with at least five points — before the midway point. After gaining the puck behind the net, he worked toward the front and ripped a shot inside the far post for his 12th goal of the season.
That spelled the end of the game for Jacob Markstrom, who surrendered five goals on 15 shots before receiving a mercy hook. David Rittich stopped seven of nine shots in relief for the Flames, who have lost three straight and were without top-line center Sean Monahan for a second straight game due to injury.
But the onslaught didn’t end there. Nugent-Hopkins scored Edmonton’s third power-play goal by gaining a loose puck in the right circle and using the time given to find the mark for his ninth goal of the season.
After Josh Archibald scored 36 seconds into the third period to convert the touchdown, the clubs coasted to the finish line.
The win came at a cost. Edmonton defenseman Slater Koekkoek left the game after being on the receiving end of a hit to the head from Sam Bennett less than two minutes into the clash, and Kailer Yamamoto didn’t play in the third period after a hit from Elias Lindholm.
–Field Level Media