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game recap

Neal has hat trick for Oilers, who hold off Rangers

Nugent-Hopkins has four points for Edmonton, which survives four-goal third period by New York

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

Neal's hat trick

NYR@EDM: Neal earns second hat trick of season

James Neal scores two goals in the 1st period and another in the 2nd period, earning his second hat trick of the season

  • 02:53 •

EDMONTON -- James Neal and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had four points, and the Edmonton Oilers held on for a 7-5 win against the New York Rangers at Rogers Place on Tuesday. 

Neal had a hat trick and an assist, and Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and three assists for Edmonton (21-17-4), which built a 6-0 lead before New York scored five straight goals.

"At the end of the day, we won the game and we'll never turn down two points," Neal said. "You just move on and take the positives out of the game. I thought the first two periods were really good, our special teams were good, and I really liked our start and the way we played in the first. Obviously our mind wandered and we kind of got ahead of ourselves in the third. It's a fast league and that's what happens sometimes."


[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Oilers highlights]


Kailer Yamamoto, making his season debut, scored into an empty net with Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist pulled for an extra attacker with 1:07 left in the third period for the 7-5 final. Mikko Koskinen made 28 saves.

"You try to stay calm, we played so well in the first couple of periods," Nugent-Hopkins said. "When things are going on like that you just have to try and stay calm and confident in what we can do."

Artemi Panarin had a goal and three assists for the Rangers (19-16-4), who had won two in a row and three of four. Alexandar Georgiev gave up six goals on 24 shots and was pulled in the second period. Lundqvist made six saves in relief. 

Video: NYR@EDM: Panarin strikes on the rush

"They were hungrier than us at the beginning and they started the game up 3-0 and they got a couple of power-play goals in the second," Rangers center Mika Zibanejad said. "I thought we played better in the last 10 minutes of the second and we got that goal [late in second] and went from there. It was not the way to go and not the way to put yourself in a good situation. You have to learn and try to take the good things from the third and move on." 

Neal scored 11 seconds into the first period on the first shot of the game, converting a centering pass from Zack Kassian. 

Neal scored on the power play at 8:46 for a 2-0 lead, tipping in a point shot from Oscar Klefbom. Nugent-Hopkins increased the lead to 3-0 on a redirection at 11:13. 

Leon Draisaitl scored on the power play at 13:11 of the second period for a 4-0 lead, and Neal scored on the power play 12 seconds later to make it 5-0. It was Neal's second game for Edmonton with at least three goals. He scored four goals in a 5-2 win at the New York Islanders on Oct. 8. 

Video: NYR@EDM: Draisaitl, Neal score two goals in :12

"We played a really good first period and capitalized on our opportunities in the second," Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. "We had a 6-1 lead and we made some mistakes and they capitalized on it. But a win is a win and we move on."

Josh Archibald made it 6-0 on a shot from the slot following a turnover at 15:04. Georgiev was replaced by Lundqvist on the next stoppage in play. 

Chris Kreider scored with 26 seconds left in the second period to make it 6-1, and Ryan Strome scored at 4:38 of the third period to cut the lead to 6-2. 

"That second period, obviously, goes a little sideways with all the penalties," Kreider said. "Early in the year in a situation like that we stretch it out and cheat for offense a little bit and try to win the game on every play [but] I think we got back to things we were doing well in that last 20 minutes and we were able to claw our way back into that game."

Marc Staal made it 6-3 at 11:29, tipping a shot from Strome, Panarin cut it to 6-4 at 12:07, and Zibanejad brought the Rangers within 6-5 at 16:15.

"I think we showed a lot of characteristics you need to have success," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "You just can't have the start that we had, that's obvious, we just weren't ready to play. But to have the wherewithal to turn it on the way we did -- even in the second period I thought we did a lot of good things -- and then the penalty exchange where we thought we were going to go on a power play and all of sudden we're killing [a penalty], that really took the wind out of our sails. Things kind of unraveled a little bit, but we get that goal at the end of the second and kept playing."

Video: James Neal nets three versus the Rangers


They said it 

"We knew they were a bit of a fragile team that's been reeling a little bit. We get one, we get two and … then we took advantage of it. It was good for our group." -- Rangers defenseman Marc Staal

"When I scored that [6-0 goal] I never would have thought it would have been the game-winning goal." -- Oilers forward Josh Archibald


Need to know

According to Sportsnet, no team in NHL history has ever won after trailing by six goals. … Panarin has 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in his past 11 games. … Edmonton had been 0-13-4-1 on New Year's Eve since defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on Dec. 31, 1985. … Neal is the fifth Oilers player to have multiple hat tricks in his first year with the team. Wayne Gretzky had two (1979-80), Glenn Anderson had two (1980-81), Jari Kurri had three (1980-81) and Blair MacDonald had four (1979-80). … Klefbom sustained a lower-body injury in the third period after blocking a shot. There was no update. … Oilers defenseman William Lagesson was minus-1 and blocked two shots in 11:51 in his NHL debut.


What's next 

Rangers: At the Calgary Flames on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNF, MSG, NHL.TV) 

Oilers: At the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, SNW, NHL.TV)

Video: Neal scores hat trick as Oilers stave off Rangers

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