Evander Kane's hat trick lifts Oilers past Kraken 6-4
By TIM BOOTH
SEATTLE (AP) Evander Kane needed just three shots to show the Edmonton Oilers can be more than just Connor McDavid. And the timing couldn't be better with the playoffs on the horizon.
Kane recorded his second hat trick of the season and the Oilers gained some cushion in the Western Conference playoff chase with a 6-4 win over the Seattle Kraken on Saturday.
Kane capped the sixth three-goal game of his career by scoring on an odd-man rush with 9:40 remaining just after a power play for Seattle ended. Kane also scored Edmonton's first goal less than two minutes into the game, and his second goal came 43 seconds into the second period.
"That's part of my job is to be productive for this group," said Kane, who has played in just 29 games due to injuries. "Obviously we have two of the best players in the world, but they can't carry a team and win a championship. You need everyone pulling their weight."
McDavid still did his part with a goal and two assists, giving him 134 points for the season - the seventh-most points by any player in the past 30 years. McDavid scored his 58th goal of the season on a power play with 3:50 remaining.
McDavid recorded his 20th three-point game of the season, the first player to reach that mark since both Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did it in the 1995-96 season.
The victory moved Edmonton three points ahead of Seattle for the final automatic playoff spot from the Pacific Division. Edmonton has one less game remaining than Seattle, but the Oilers gained the upper hand in the final matchup of the regular season between the teams.
"It's really big. Every game down the stretch right now is huge for us," said Edmonton's Kailer Yamamoto, who scored his ninth goal of the season in the first period. "We need to keep chipping away and keep finding ways to get these W's."
Zach Hyman scored his 30th of the season and Leon Draisaitl had three assists, giving him 104 points on the season. Stuart Skinner made 33 saves for Edmonton.
Jaden Schwartz, Jordan Eberle, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Eeli Tolvanen all scored for Seattle, but the Kraken lost for the sixth time in their past seven home games. Vince Dunn extended his points streak to 12 games when he assisted on Seattle's first goal that was tipped in by Schwartz. The goal was originally credited to Dunn, but later changed to Schwartz.
"Obviously this is frustrating. You see the standings and where we're at," Eberle said. "Obviously we're fighting until the end. It's a big road trip for us coming up."
Seattle's Philipp Grubauer made seven saves, but left with 13:30 left in the second period and immediately went down the tunnel to Seattle's locker room. Martin Jones replaced Grubauer and the first shot he faced found the back of the net when Hyman collected a pass from McDavid and flicked a wrist shot over Jones' blocker.
Seattle announced Grubauer left due to a non-COVID illness. Jones made 10 saves.
"It's a disappointing outcome. Our team played hard, our team played well," Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. "We had to play a little too much from behind."
NOTES: Kane had his first game with multiple goals since returning from wrist surgery after suffering a cut on the wrist by a skate blade Nov. 8 at Tampa Bay. He missed 31 games recovering from the surgery and had scored five goals in the 14 games played since he returned. ... Seattle F John Hayden went limping to the locker room with 7:45 left in the second period after a fight with Klim Kostin. Hayden fell awkwardly on his right leg during the fight. He did not return. ... Edmonton has four players with at least 30 goals for the first time since 1989-90.
Oilers: Host San Jose on Monday.
Kraken: at Dallas on Tuesday.
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Updated March 18, 2023