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Hat trick history made in NHL openers

Four three-goal games match record set on League's first night in 1917

NHL.com @NHL

The NHL made hat trick history on the first two nights of the 2017-18 season.

Forwards Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks each had a hat trick on Thursday, becoming the third and fourth players to score at least three goals in their team's first game this season. Ovechkin scored three goals in the third period for his 18th NHL hat trick, most among active players, in a 5-4 shootout win against the Ottawa Senators. Saad had his second NHL hat trick in a 10-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins; it was the first in a season-opening game by a Blackhawks player since Bobby Hull against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 23, 1965.  

Video: WSH@OTT: Ovechkin records hat trick in season opener

Those hat tricks came one night after Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds each scored three goals Wednesday. McDavid had his second NHL hat trick in a 3-0 win against the Calgary Flames; Simmonds had his second regular-season hat trick in a 5-3 win against the San Jose Sharks.

It's the second time in NHL history there have been four hat tricks in season-opening games. The first was in 1917-18, when each of the first two games in League history, played on Dec. 19, 1917, had two players who scored three or more goals.

Video: PIT@CHI: Saad opens season with hat trick

On that night, forward Harry Hyland of the Montreal Wanderers scored five goals in a 10-9 win against the Toronto Arenas, who got four goals from forward Reg Noble.  

In Ottawa, forward Joe Malone of the Montreal Canadiens scored five goals in a 7-4 win against the Ottawa Senators, who got three goals from forward Cy Denneny.

Video: CGY@EDM: McDavid finds the empty net for hat trick

There is a chance for more hat tricks because nine teams -- the Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vancouver Canucks -- have yet to play their season-opening game.

Six of those teams start their season Friday. The expansion Golden Knights play their inaugural NHL game against the Stars at American Airlines Center (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, TVA Sports, FS-SW, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV), the Islanders play the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m. ET; FS-0, MSG+, NHL.TV), and the Panthers play the Lightning at Amalie Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-F, NHL.TV).

Video: PHI@SJS: Simmonds ignites Flyers with 400th point

On Saturday, the Devils play the Colorado Avalanche at Prudential Center (2 p.m. ET; SN, MSG+, ALT, NHL.TV), the Hurricanes host the Minnesota Wild (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-N, NHL.TV), and the Canucks play the Oilers at GM Place (10 p.m. ET, CBC, NHL.TV).

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