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game recap

McDavid scores hat trick, Oilers defeat Canucks to split two-game set

Nugent-Hopkins has two goals, Draisaitl gets four assists

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

McDavid's hat trick

VAN@EDM: McDavid collects first hat trick of 2021

Connor McDavid scores a trio of goals against the Canucks to record his first hat trick of the 2021 NHL season

  • 01:51 •

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid scored the first hat trick in the NHL this season, and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 at Rogers Place on Thursday.

Leon Draisaitl had four assists for the Oilers, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored two goals and had an assist.

"Tonight, [McDavid] was at another level again, and he capitalized on those chances," Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. "The ones that amaze me are the ones that he kind of makes something happen out of nothing. Like that play at the end of the (first) period. You're lining up for a quick shot, you don't think you have time for a rebound, but there he is, he's in a rebound and scores. Great players just find a way to make that play. He was dialed in tonight, right from the start."

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: McDavid nets three for Oilers

Mikko Koskinen made 38 saves in his second start in as many nights against the Canucks, who won the season opener 5-3 on Wednesday. Mike Smith was expected to start for the Oilers but was a late scratch for an undisclosed reason.

Thatcher Demko made 41 saves in his first start of the season for the Canucks.

"[McDavid] was good, exceptional," Vancouver coach Travis Green said. "He's one of the best players in the world. He definitely played well tonight. He was a big part of the game.

"I thought their team had a little bit more urgency in certain areas of the game that we talked about with our group. There is going to be a lot of [that] this year when you play a team two or three times in a row. When you win, you can count on the other team raising their game the next game. I just thought we just didn't quite raise ours enough."

Nugent-Hopkins scored on the power play at 7:59 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

Video: VAN@EDM: Nugent-Hopkins scores PPG in 1st period

McDavid scored with 0.8 seconds left in the period to put Edmonton up 2-0.

"It was obviously not our best effort last night, and I thought our group was really solid tonight," McDavid said. "We came out with a lot of energy, it seemed like we had a just a little more juice than they did, but that happens in a back-to-back. Our power play was good, our [penalty kill] was good, and 5-on-5 I thought we did a pretty good job as well."

Nate Schmidt scored his first goal with the Canucks to make it 2-1 at 3:24 of the second period with a slap shot from the left point through traffic.

McDavid scored on the power play at 8:26 to make it 3-1. He skated the puck into the zone down the right side with speed, cut inside against defenseman Alexander Edler, and shot from the right hash marks.

"I thought they came out a lot harder than we did to start the game," Schmidt said. "They put us back on our toes early. We have to get used to this, you play the same team on back-to-back nights in their own building, and it's going to happen. You know, you're going to get a better effort out of them after we come in and win Game 1 in these miniseries that we're going to be having all year."

Tyler Motte scored at 10:21 to make it 3-2, redirecting a pass from the point from Travis Hamonic.

Video: VAN@EDM: Motte scores on deflection

McDavid scored his third goal at 15:08 to make it 4-2, taking a cross-crease pass from Draisaitl, cutting across the net, and lifting a backhand. It was the seventh regular-season hat trick of his NHL career.

Nugent-Hopkins scored his second at 11:42 of the third period to make it 5-2. He tipped in a pass from Kailer Yamamoto from in tight.

"I think all four lines, all six D, right from the start, we had the right mindset," Nugent-Hopkins said. "We knew we needed to clean some things up after last night, and coming in a back-to-back, it was a good chance to get things going right away. You don't have much time to think and dwell on things. I thought we responded pretty well, and I think our line held on to pucks a lot better tonight and we got some more chances and put some pucks on net too."

Video: McDavid nets hat trick, powers Oilers past Canucks

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