The hats didn't rain to the ice for Jonathan Marchessault on Dec. 3 when he buried three consecutive goals to help the Vegas Golden Knights defeat the New Jersey Devils.
Whether the chapeaus cascaded down from all fans in attendance or the ice remained hat-free, Marchessault was happy to leave his mark by dropping a three-goal performance in the third period for today's VGK Play of the Day.
Video: VGK@NJD: Marchessault records third career hat trick
Analysis from VGK Rinkside Reporter Stormy Buonantony
It was an up and down, rocky start to the year for the Golden Knights... But by the time the team arrived in New Jersey on December 3rd, it felt as if the tides were beginning to turn and the ever-elusive "consistent efforts" had taken hold.
After dropping three games in a row and 10 of their last 13, a memorable win in Nashville kickstarted what at the time was a season-best 3-game win streak for the VGK. Coming into the Prudential Center that night, they were looking to make it four.
Similarly, it was an up and down, rocky start to the year for top-line winger Jonathan Marchessault who had just 5 goals through 29 games and is never one to mince words when addressing not only the team's overall performance, but his individual game.
"Not good enough," was a phrase he'd used a number of times in the early going this season.
Skip ahead to the third period in New Jersey.
Marchessault not only helped Vegas secure that 4th straight win, but he did so by delivering a natural hat trick to escape what had all the makings of a trap-game.
For additional context, this is a New Jersey team that had struggled mightily sitting at 9-14-4 overall for last place in the Metropolitan Division and the NHL's second worst record. The team fired head coach John Hynes the morning of the game after dropping their previous two games by a combined score of 11-1, and while you would never hear a player or coach say it, it's a team that on paper could be easy to overlook.
The Devils had what felt like an emotional start and led the game 2-1 entering the 3rd. Just 1:05 into the frame and Marchessault would tie the game off his skate. Reilly Smith got the puck out of the Golden Knights end with a lead pass that essentially went through the feet of Marchessault to the intended William Karlsson. Karlsson's backhand centering pass deflected off the left boot of Marchessault and through the 5-hole of Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood to open the 3rd period scoring early.
A few minutes later and Marchy would deliver once again.
Alex Tuch fresh to the ice had the puck behind the net and wheeled it up the left side boards to eventually find Deryk Engelland at the point. Engelland takes the shot and it's a perfect tip by Marchessault to get the puck between the pads of Blackwood and into the net. It was the first lead of the game for the Golden Knights and the first multi-point game of the season for Jonathan Marchessault.
As if a pair of goals in 5:04 wasn't enough, Marchessault lit the lamp once more for his third goal in less than 10 minutes, and this one came on the power play.
Tuch carried the puck into the offensive zone and after a back-and-forth pass with Smith, Tuch hit a lunging Marchessault streaking down the left circle. His first shot was saved by Blackwood, but Marchessault collected his own rebound and hammered it home for the 4-2 advantage. Even in New Jersey, hats poured out on to the ice.
It was the third hat trick of his career, second as a Golden Knight, and the first one for Vegas during the 2019-20 season.
Before this game the VGK were 1-9-1 when trailing at the two-period mark, and after Marchessault's PPG, there were still more than 10 minutes to play. The Devils did answer to make it 4-3, but the good guys were able to hold on for an important win on an important night for #81.