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GAME STORY: Oilers 5, Stars 2

Connor McDavid records his first career hat-trick as the Oilers down Dallas 5-2

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

Video: OILERS TODAY | Oilers @ Stars Post-Game

DALLAS, TX - History was made Saturday as Connor McDavid scored his first career hat-trick to lead the Oilers to a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars, snapping their five-game losing skid.

Three negative streaks actually came to an end for the Oilers on Saturday and they hope a new one has just begun.

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Edmonton put an end to its five-game losing skid with the decisive win over the Stars and they were also the first team to score, which was something they hadn't done in seven straight games.

Finally and most emphatically, McDavid ended his personal goal-less drought, scoring just 2:57 into the first period for the first time since Oct. 28 in Vancouver. He added another in the second period and his hat-trick tally in the third.

"It's huge for us," the hero McDavid said following the win. "The toughest one to win is the one to get you out of the slide, so we did that and hopefully it doesn't happen again for a long time and we're building off this."

Head Coach Todd McLellan said the sophomore superstar's performance on Saturday was the type of effort that made the organization's decision to make him the youngest captain in NHL history a no-brainer.

"Connor, captain, leader, played a hell of a game," McLellan said. "He stepped up and laid it on the line and everybody else followed."

The Oilers are no doubt pumped about the big win and will look to get another streak going, this time in the positive direction.

McDavid's sixth of the season made it 1-0 less than three minutes into the game, as he banked a pass attempt off John Klingberg's stick for his fortunate, drought-busting tally.

Tyler Pitlick kept pace with the captain and tallied his sixth of the season midway through the frame to put the visitors up 2-0. And who set him up? None other than Drake Caggiula for his first NHL point in his first NHL game.

Pitlick and Caggiula burst in on a two-on-one, with the rookie sliding a perfect pass over for the one-timer goal. Matt Hendricks also picked up a helper in his first game of the season after missing the opening 18 with a lower-body injury.

"I'm 50-50 in those situations," Caggiula said of the decision to shoot or pass on the odd-man rush. "I was looking shot for the most part, but out of the corner of my eye I saw the d-man dropping and thought if I could get it over his stick (Pitlick) had a good chance of burying it."

Edmonton's excellent road penalty kill also went two-for-two in the first period to give the team an overdue early lead to work with over the final 40 minutes.

"Starts have been an issue for us," McDavid said. "We hadn't scored the first goal in a long time. To play with the lead instead of coming from behind is a lot easier. It was definitely good for our group."

The Oilers kept rolling to start the middle frame and got another fortuitous bounce to extend their lead to 3-0. Oscar Klefbom took a feed from Anton Slepyshev just inside the blueline and fired the puck towards the net. The move was intended to find a streaking Zack Kassian, but it bounced off Patrik Nemeth's leg and past Kari Lehtonen for Klefbom's second of the year and second in as many games.

After getting lucky on his goal in the first, McDavid made his next chance count with some style as he corralled the puck at the side of the net and deposited his team-leading seventh of the year. The two goals came just 56 seconds apart to give the Oilers a commanding 4-0 cushion.

The Stars were finally able to solve Cam Talbot with 4:23 to go in the frame, as they got a four-minute power play with Zack Kassian serving hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct minors. Patrick Eaves rifled a wrist shot just under the bar from the high slot and Jamie Benn scored on a deflection to cut Edmonton's lead to 4-2.

McDavid turned the trick 7:41 into the final frame, bursting into the offensive zone with Jesse Puljujärvi. The captain lost the puck, his rookie right-winger fired a shot on net and McDavid rattled home the rebound from a tough angle for his eighth of the season to put an exclamation point on the win.

The captain was modest, as always, when reflecting on his milestone night.

"Three pretty lucky goals," he chuckled. "It's a funny league that way. You're getting Grade A chances and they're not going in and then all of a sudden you just start putting it there and they are going in. It's weird that way and I'm definitely happy to get off that slump."

Talbot made 31 saves to secure his ninth victory of the season.

The Oilers, who improved to 10-8-1, are back on home ice this Monday to host another Central Division squad, the Chicago Blackhawks. Their road-heavy month of November continues after the brief stop at home, though, as they visit the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

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