TAMPA, Fla.--Tyson Jost owes his linemates big time after the assists they gave him in recording his first career NHL hat trick.
Colin Wilson tied a career high with three assists and J.T. Compher also added two helpers on Jost's three goals in the Colorado Avalanche's 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at Amalie Arena.
"He played really well tonight," Compher said of Jost. "Our line was clicking and creating chances all over the place. Good for him burying them, burying those opportunities. It was a good win."
Jost has scored countless of hat tricks throughout his youth and junior hockey days, but to get one in the NHL was special.
"It was awesome, it felt really good," Jost said. "It was nice to see those go in. Great plays by my linemates too. Comph found me on the third one, beautiful pass. I was screaming for it the whole time and he made a great play, credit to him."
Compher played a key role in his linemate's final two tallies. Jost completed the three-goal outing at 6:06 of the second period after receiving a feed from Compher on a 2-on-0 rush and firing a quick shot to give the Avs a 4-1 advantage against the defending Presidents' Trophy winners.
"I thought our line, Willy included, was getting up the ice well and creating turnovers," Compher said. "Tonight we were able to take advantage of a few odd-man rushes there. It was nice to help the team, help us get the win tonight."
Video: COL@TBL: Jost scores first NHL hat trick
Compher's first assist came in a similar fashion nearly three minutes earlier after a strong Colorado breakout unknotted a 1-1 tie. That one might have been even more impressive as Compher sauced a pass for Jost, who then unleashed a one-touch shot.
"We did a great job in the neutral zone on the defensive side of things and that led to rushes," Jost said. "We both used our speed up the ice."
The St. Albert, Alberta, native is now one of 54 players in franchise history to register at least three goals in a game, and he is the first since Carl Soderberg did it on Jan. 14, 2019 at the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Scoring in bunches against the Lightning has been a theme in recent history for the Avs, as Jost is the fourth player in franchise history to score three goals in a game against Tampa, joining teammates Nathan MacKinnon (Feb. 22, 2015) and Gabriel Landeskog (Dec. 16, 2017) and the Quebec Nordiques' Uwe Krupp (March 1, 1995).
It was Jost's first three-point performance since recording three hat tricks during his final year in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Penticton Vees, with his last coming on Feb. 5, 2016 at the Nanaimo Clippers (a four-point game as he also had an assist).
What might have made the 21-year-old's performance on Saturday even sweeter was that he did it against a Stanley Cup favorite that finished 21 points ahead of the NHL's second-place club last season.
"I knew how good Tampa is, and a lot of people say they are one of the best teams in the NHL and they are. I really owed it to myself to play a good hockey game here," Jost said. "I knew how important the game was. It's what you want to do. If you want to be a good player, you got to play in the big games and that was something that I was really focused on beforehand, so it's great to get the win."
The Avalanche is off to a historic start in the 2019-20 campaign as the team's 7-0-1 record is its best through eight games in franchise history. No Colorado or Quebec club had ever recorded 15 out of 16 points at this point in the season until this year.
It's been a group effort through the first two-plus weeks of the season, as different players have stepped up every outing.
Mikko Rantanen (12 points) and Nathan MacKinnon (11 points) are still first and second in team scoring, but the second line has produced some big goals as of late as both Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi entered Saturday fresh off three-point performances from the previous night in at the Florida Panthers, a 5-4 comeback win in overtime.
Across the state on the gulf coast, it was Jost, Compher and Wilson's turn.
"The Jost line for me was outstanding, especially in the first half of the game," said head coach Jared Bednar afterward. "Some of the plays that Compher made, Wilson made, and Josty getting it on and off his tape to put it on the net. [He] didn't overhandle it or take his time. Just quick shots, good shots. I think those guys were a big difference makers in our game tonight."
As for what Jost owes his two linemates, a nice future dinner might be in order.
"Definitely owes me and Willy dinner," Compher said. "We'll pick a good spot. Charge it to him."
Though Jost dishing out a few assists of his own to his linemates might be a better repayment.
"You know what, I'll get him back next game," Jost said of his debt to Compher. "I'll feed him a couple. That's our plan."