Connor McDavid netted his first career hat trick as the Edmonton Oilers ended their five-game losing streak with a 5-2 win in Dallas.
McDavid opened the scoring just 2:57 into the game when Stars defenceman John Klingberg accidentally tipped McDavid’s centring pass into his own net. That ended a ten-game goalless drought for the Oilers captain.
“It’s a funny league. Sometimes you’re getting Grade A chances and they’re not going in,” says McDavid. “Other times, you just put it there and you get a nice bounce. Definitely a good way to break the slump.
Tyler Pitlick converted a two-on-one with Drake Caggiula later in the first. Caggiula earned his first NHL point on the play.
“I was looking shot for the most part,” says Caggiula. “Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the d-man dropping. I thought if I could get it over his stick, Pitter would have a good chance of burying it.”
Oscar Klefbom and McDavid scored 56 seconds apart early in the second period, making it 4-0 Oilers. However, late in the frame, Zack Kassian took a hooking penalty and then was tagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing the call. The Stars got power play goals from Patrick Eaves and Jamie Benn just 1:10 apart to pull within 4-2. Kassian was benched for the remainder of the night.
McDavid completed the hat trick 6:51 into the third, corralling pass from Jesse Puljujarvi and snapping it home from the left wing.
Cam Talbot earned the win in goal, making 31 saves.
Head Coach Todd McLellan says the quick start was important to get their legs underneath them.
“Obviously we weren’t an overly confident team coming in. Connor, captain, leader, played a hell of a game, stepped up and laid it on the line and everyone else followed. We’re still not perfect we still have a lot of work to do. Frustrating in some areas of the game, but we can’t over-evaluate a win right now. We’ll take it any way we can get it, reload, and get back home.”
The Oilers improve to 10-8-1 on the season. They’ll host Chicago Monday night. (jrw)