SEATTLE — It only took Evander Kane 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 margin in the Western Conference playoff chase on Saturday with a 6-4 win over the Seattle Kraken.
Kane capped the sixth three-goal game of his career by scoring on an odd rush at 9:40 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 half.
“It’s part of my job to be productive for this group,” said Kane, who has only played 29 games due to injuries. “Of course we have two of the best players in the world, but they cannot carry a team and win a championship. Everyone needs their weight.”
McDavid nonetheless contributed 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 to go.
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 in the 1995-96 season.
The win put Edmonton three points ahead of Seattle for the Pacific Division’s final automatic playoff berth. Edmonton is one game down on Seattle, but the Oilers got the upper hand in the final matchup of the regular season between the teams.
“It’s very big. Every game is huge for us right now,” said Edmonton’s Kailer Yamamoto, who scored his ninth goal of the season in the first period. “We have to keep hacking and finding ways to get those Ws.”
Zach Hyman scored his 30th goal of the season and Leon Draisaitl had three assists, giving him 104 points that 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 last seven home games. Vince Dunn extended his scoring streak to 12 games when he assisted Seattle’s first goal, tapped by Schwartz. The goal was originally credited to Dunn but later changed to Schwartz.
“Of course it’s frustrating. You can see the table and where we stand,” said Eberle. “Of course we will fight to the end. We have a big road trip ahead of us.”
Seattle’s Philipp Grubauer made seven saves but left the team at 13:30 in the second period and immediately went through the tunnel into Seattle’s dressing room. Martin Jones replaced Grubauer and the first shot he faced found the back of the net as Hyman collected a pass from McDavid and flicked a wrist shot over Jones’ blocker.
Seattle announced that Grubauer left because of a non-COVID illness. Jones made 10 saves.
“This is a disappointing result. Our team played hard, our team played well,” said Seattle coach Dave Hakstol. “We had to play a little too much from behind.”
Kane had his first multiple goal game since returning from wrist surgery after sustaining a cut on his wrist from a skate blade Nov. 8 in Tampa Bay. He missed 31 games to recover from surgery and had scored five goals in the 14 games since his return. … Seattle F John Hayden went into the dressing room after a fight with Klim Kostin with 7:45 of the second half. Hayden awkwardly fell on his right leg during the fight. He didn’t come back. … Edmonton has four players with at least 30 goals for the first time since 1989-90.
Oilers: host San Jose on Monday.
Kraken: on Tuesday in Dallas.
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