Draisaitl delivers the fourth regular season hat-trick of his career as Edmonton wins its eighth game in a row against Ottawa this year
OTTAWA, ON -Leon Draisaitl scored his fourth career regular season hat-trick and added an assist for good measure for a four-point performance to lead the Oilers to a 4-2 victory over the Senators on Wednesday as Edmonton has now won all eight of its meetings with Ottawa this year.
Stop us if you've heard this one before... Tyson Barrie to Connor McDavid to Leon Draisaitl for the power-play goal. The Oilers made good on their first man advantage at 12:18 of the opening frame as the reigning league MVP blasted home his 20th tally of the season on a perfect feed from the captain who drew Ottawa's defenders toward him on the left side before finding Draisaitl for the one-timer from his wheelhouse on the right flank. McDavid had his NHL-leading 65th point, Draisaitl his 58th and Barrie his 33rd.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Draisaitl continued to defy the laws of physics with his lethal shot as his second goal of the game and 21st of the season came from an absurd angle, with McDavid setting him up for another one-timer as his entire body was below the goal line but he somehow managed to find the twine before Ottawa goalie Marcus Hogberg could get to his near-side post. Point number 66 for McDavid and 59 for Draisaitl.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Mikko Koskinen made a trio of consecutive saves on Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris and Tim Stutzle in the final minute as the Senators had the extra attacker out, pushing for the equalizer. The big Finn had a solid game with 28 saves to record his 10th victory of the season.
After Draisaitl scored the first two Oilers goals with primary assists from McDavid, it was the captain's turn to convert as Edmonton's top unit absolutely buried the Senators in their own zone for more than two minutes. As the seemingly infinite cycle continued, Draisaitl dropped a pass to McDavid and he dangled around Chris Tierney before roofing a forehand on Hogberg for his 23rd tally of the season at 13:54 of the final frame to put Edmonton up 3-2. Point number 67 for McDavid, 60 for Draisaitl and 34 for Barrie.
Draisaitl delivered the first two goals, set up the game-winner by McDavid and completed his hat-trick with one second left on the clock into the empty net. Point number 68 for McDavid, 61 for Draisaitl.
With his setup on Draisaitl's opening power-play goal, McDavid recorded his 350th career assist in his 391st NHL game, tying Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr, who also happens to be the president of the agency that represents the Oilers captain.
Also as a result of Draisaitl's first-period marker, he and McDavid became the first Oilers teammates to score 20 goals through the opening 40 games in back-to-back seasons since Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson in 1986-87 and 1987-88.
McDavid's 68 points are the most by an Oilers player through 40 games since Wayne Gretzky had 93 in 1987-88 and the most by any player since Mario Lemieux also had 68 in 2002-03.
The Oilers are now halfway through their newly-formed four-game road trip as they'll play the Senators again on Thursday before heading to Calgary for another Battle of Alberta matchup on Saturday. The Canucks are scheduled to visit Rogers Place for a pair of games next week, but those are unlikely to be played due to Vancouver's COVID-19 outbreak.
"He's the best passer in the game," Draisaitl said of McDavid assisting on all three of his goals. "He'll find those little triangles, those little seams, and it's my job to find an opening and make it easy for him to get it over there. Then it's just about being ready and trying to bear down and put it in."
"That was a shot that only a few guys in the world can make and he's one of them," McDavid said of Draisaitl's second tally from below the goal line. "He likes shooting from there, I think he's scored a few times from there... He's deadly from a lot of areas on the ice and that just happens to be one of them."
"They're both elite players and they make plays," Head Coach Dave Tippett said of Edmonton's dynamic duo. "Draisaitl shoots it as well anybody, especially quick off the pass. They play off each other well, find opportunities and capitalize on some opportunities that aren't normal goals. That's what top, top players do. We're fortunate they capitalized on a couple of those tonight."