Having ditched their orange jerseys for the playoffs, now Edmonton takes a 2-1 series lead in the Battle of Alberta. Coincidence? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
The Oilers outshot the Flames 21-7 in the first period but neither team got on the scoreboard.
“When our best players are leading the way defensively and setting the tone for what’s expected for the full 200-feet of the rink, I think it makes us a better team,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said.
Zach Hyman beat Jacob Markstrom’s blocker side for his fourth of the series. Evander Kane scored two goals 53 seconds apart, first converting a pass from Leon Draisaitl, then finishing off a feed from Connor McDavid.
Halfway through the second, Mike Smith stopped Johnny Gaudreau on a breakaway then made a glove snare on Matthew Tkachuk’s poke at the rebound. Kane would complete the hat trick not long after, swooping in front and beating Markstrom with a backhand.
“He’s a hockey player with really good habits. I didn’t know that about him, but there’s a reason why he finds success on the ice,” Woodcroft said of Kane.
Kane — who also had a hat trick in game three against Los Angeles — becomes the first Oiler to have multiple hat tricks in the same playoff season since Jari Kurri had four in 1985.
“When your best players are playing the best hockey of their careers in the playoffs, you have a really good chance to win, and both (McDavid and Draisaitl) have done that,” Smith said.
Draisaitl had four assists in the second to equal the NHL record for most points in a playoff period.