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game recap

McDavid scores hat trick in Oilers victory

Talbot makes 27 saves to shut out Flames in season opener

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid scored a hat trick to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-0 win against the Calgary Flames in the season opener at Rogers Place on Wednesday.

"It's a good way to start, I guess," said McDavid, who has scored 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in his past 15 regular-season games. "It feels good tonight but we have a long way to go here.

"We were able to create some chances. Everybody was making a big deal about Calgary's defense, but it was our defense that was great tonight. They were moving pucks up to the forwards so we could do what we get paid to do."


[WATCH: Complete Flames vs. Oilers highlights]


After winning the NHL scoring title in 2016-17 (100 points), McDavid scored in the first period and had two goals in the third for his second NHL hat trick and the first by an Oilers player in a season opener. He is the fifth player in NHL history to score a natural hat trick in a season opener. Bert Corbeau (Dec. 24, 1919), Billy Boucher (Nov. 29, 1924), Ray Getliffe (Nov. 6, 1937) and Radim Vrbata (Oct. 3, 2013) are the others.

The reigning Hart Trophy winner as League MVP had seven shots on goal in the game.

"You can't say enough good things about No. 97," goaltender Cam Talbot said of McDavid. "We played a complete game tonight as a team. We didn't give them many chances."

Video: CGY@EDM: McDavid opens season with hat trick

McDavid scored 11:01 into the first, and made it 2-0 at 8:07 of the third when he outraced three Flames down the right wing and beat goaltender Mike Smith.

"I know exactly how the defensemen in Calgary feel right now," Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. "I play against Connor in every single practice so I know how it feels. He can just make you look silly, he's so fast. His control with the puck, it's really fun to see from our side of the ice."

McDavid scored his third goal into an empty net with 59 seconds remaining to make it 3-0.

"He had the goals, but it wasn't just about him," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. "They beat us in almost every department. They won the battles on the wall. They were clean on their breakouts. They made plays. They threw pucks to the net. I thought their team was all-around better than us tonight. We have got to be better."

Talbot made 27 saves for the Oilers. Smith had 42 saves in his debut with Calgary.


Goal of the game

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl took a shot from a bad angle out of the corner. The puck hit Smith's pad, bounced to McDavid at the other side of the net, and he lifted it over Smith.

Video: CGY@EDM: McDavid cashes in on the rebound


Save of the game

Flames forward Micheal Ferland collected the puck at the side of the net and centered it to Sean Monahan for a shot, but Talbot was able to get a piece of it to keep the Flames from tying the game 1-1 at 13:54 of the second period.

Video: CGY@EDM: Talbot denies Monahan with blocker in close


Highlight of the game

McDavid picked up the puck deep in his own end and skated down the right wing. He pulled away from Ferland, then beat defensemen TJ Brodie and Travis Hamonic to the net and lifted a shot over Smith's shoulder to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead.

Video: CGY@EDM: McDavid dazzles for second goal of the night


They said it

"Not the feeler I wanted to start with. That's the type of player [McDavid] is. When he has space and time he can wind it up and create some pretty unique scoring chances. Obviously, it was nice to kind of get my game going there. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep him off the board the rest of the night." -- Flames goaltender Mike Smith


Video: CGY@EDM: Smith closes the pads to deny McDavid


"I thought in the first couple of periods we were going pretty good. Maybe the first 10 [minutes] they came out and they were buzzing pretty good. We had to weather the storm at the start, they get one and it's a 1-0 game going into the third period, so it certainly wasn't a terrible game on our part by any means." -- Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic


Need to know

The Oilers have won five consecutive games against the Flames. Edmonton swept the season series last year, winning all four games. … Klefbom had a game-high nine shots. … The Flames have not won a season opener in eight years (0-7-1). … Smith made 15 saves in the first period and 13 in the second. … Edmonton outshot Calgary 16-5 in the third period.


What's next

Flames: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; SN1, CITY, NHL.TV)

Oilers: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, NHL.TV)


Video: McDavid, Oilers shut out Flames in season opener, 3-0

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