It was only a matter of time before the proverbial ketchup bottle exploded for Ducks winger Rickard Rakell. It just took a little longer than he expected. Rakell was an unstoppable force tonight, recording a natural hat trick in the second period to lead the Ducks to a lopsided 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday night. Rakell became just the second player in franchise history to record a natural hat trick in a period on the road, joining Andrew Cogliano, who did it on Jan. 31, 2012 at Phoenix.
This marked the eighth natural hat trick in club history - the first since Corey Perry on Jan. 14, 2015 vs. Toronto - and the sixth time in club history a player scored three goals in a single period. The last Ducks player to do so (which ties the club record) was Ryan Getzlaf on Nov. 8, 2013 vs. Buffalo (first period).
Rakell had lengthy scoring droughts this season - he went as many as 14 straight games without one - but has come alive over the past few weeks. His hat trick tonight gave him seven goals in his last five games and nine goals in his last 15. Some wondered if Rakell would reach the 20-goal mark for the fourth consecutive season. If he gets two more goals over the final two games of the season, it'll become reality.
"It's not just the goal scoring," said linemate Jakob Silfverberg, who assisted on two of Rakell's three goals. "He's more involved all over the ice. He has the puck a lot, and that's when he's at his best. He's been getting some bounces and putting some nice ones in."
His first goal of the night came just 1:21 into the second period when he fired a shot short side past Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
Video: ANA@EDM: Rakell picks corner on Koskinen
Rakell netted his second goal of the period at the 8:48 mark when he cleaned up a rebound in the crease off an initial shot from hometown kid Sam Steel, who comes from nearby Sherwood Park, Alberta.
Video: ANA@EDM: Rakell cleans up rebound for second goal
Rakell's hat trick goal came by way of the Swedish Trifecta, as the primary and secondary assists were credited to Silfverberg and Hampus Lindholm. With speed, Silfverberg carried the puck into the zone and dished it to Rakell, who flew in on his off wing. He unloaded a quick wrist shot from the left dot that beat Koskinen glove-side to make it 4-0 Anaheim. That was the end of the night for Koskinen, who finished with 17 saves on 21 shots. Anthony Stolarz finished the remainder of the game.
Video: ANA@EDM: Rakell buries wrister for natural hatty
"Ricky and I have been having fun the past couple weeks," said Silfverberg. "I really like playing with him, and I think he likes playing with me, too. We'll see what happens going into next year."
Anaheim's offense tonight began with Perry and ended with Devin Shore. Perry opened the scoring at the 15:17 mark of the first period when he fired a shot that caught a piece of Koskinen's glove before crossing the stripe. Shore padded the Ducks' lead in the third period when he sniped a wrist shot off a faceoff win to make it 5-0 at the 1:29 mark.
Video: ANA@EDM: Perry snaps quick shot by Koskinen
Video: ANA@EDM: Shore beats Stolarz off the draw
Edmonton's lone goal came with seven minutes remaining in regulation when Sam Gagner scored from the high slot for his sixth goal of the season.
The Ducks will return to Orange County for their final two games of the season - Wednesday vs. Calgary on Fan Appreciation Night and Friday vs. LA.
Local Native: With his Anaheim debut tonight, Chase De Leo became the fourth Southern California native to play for the Ducks. A native of La Mirada, De Leo joined Brian Salcido (Hermosa Beach, Ducks debut in 2008-09), Emerson Etem (Long Beach, Ducks debut in 2012-13) and Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Ducks debut in 2016-17) on the exclusive list.