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GAME STORY: Oilers 8, Kings 4

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl both scored hat tricks while seven different Oilers recorded multi-point outings as Edmonton routs the LA Kings 8-4.

by Tony Brar / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl both recorded hat tricks on Tuesday night as the Oilers climbed back to .500 after defeating the LA Kings 8-4 at Rogers Place.

Game 76 of Edmonton's season marked the first time two Oilers teammates had three or more goals in the same game since Dec 20, 1985, when Paul Coffey and Jari Kurri also did it against the Kings.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game vs. LAK 03.26.19

Seven players recorded multi-point outings while Mikko Koskinen turned aside 34 shots for his 24th victory of the season. Koskinen is now 6-1-1 in his last eight games at Rogers Place.

Tuesday's game could have also been dubbed 'Milestone Night' as several Oilers either set new career-highs or recorded personal accolades in the victory.

YOUR GAME-DAY ESSENTIALS

GAME DAY

 

POST-GAME VIDEO

WHAT'S NEXT

The Oilers welcome the Dallas Stars to Rogers Place on Thursday as the team continues its five-game homestand. The game can be seen on Sportsnet West and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. MDT.

POST-GAME UPDATES

Nugent-Hopkins' trifecta was the Oilers first opening period hat trick since Taylor Hall's club record-breaking trio to start a game (7:53) against Vancouver on March 30, 2013.

 

"I don't think since minor hockey I've done that, so it's something new to me but it was definitely a good way to start the game," said Nugent-Hopkins about his three first period goals.

 

McDavid's four points helped the Oilers captain achieve a new career-high in points (112), while Alex Chiasson (36 points) bested his previous total of 35 set in 2013-14 with two assists. Zack Kassian also scored his career-best 15th goal of the season.

 

Draisaitl extended his career-high in goals, assists and points with a four-point performance. The German center is now three goals shy of the league-lead in goals and just one point back of his first 100-point season.

 

"I didn't see him as a goal scorer, to be honest," said Oilers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock. "I didn't know he had this capability. He comes across as more of a playmaker and a passer but his shot is lethal. 

 

"It's not just lethal, it's accurate. He doesn't miss the net very much. He sets himself perfectly to shoot the puck. He can get it away quicker than most people."

 

Adam Larsson notched his 100th career NHL assist on a Nugent-Hopkins tally while Sam Gagner played in his 200th game in an Oiler uniform.

"Every time you could find a way to create offense and get a win, it's good for everyone," said McDavid post-game. Everyone kind of chipped in tonight and we could feel good moving forward."

Video: Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl net hat tricks in 8-4 win

It didn't take long for the game to see its first goal - 2:10 in fact - as Alex Iafallo buried his 15th marker of the season on a high-slot slapshot that beat Koskinen glove side. As outlined in the Morning Skate Report, the Kings had an impressive 20-4-2 record coming into the game when scoring first - a stat that proved insignificant on this night.

The Oilers responded with five unanswered goals in the first period, beginning with Nugent-Hopkins' first of the night just 1:22 after Iafallo's tally.

"We just kept pushing and pushing, putting a lot of pucks on net and didn't really let them breathe at all," said Nugent-Hopkins post-game. "It was a good way to start and we kept on the pressure the whole 60 tonight."

Just two games removed from tallying his career-high 25th goal of the season, the Burnaby, BC native may have exposed a chink in Quick's armour with his first on the night. Four of Edmonton's five tallies in the opening frame beat Quick on his blocker side.

Draisaitl had a great individual effort just 4:36 into the game after he picked up an Oscar Klefbom pass below the dots in his own zone. The German forward made a nifty move to beat Anze Kopitar on the Kings blueline and proceeded to rip a shot past the stick side of Quick. Coming into the matchup, Draisaitl's 43 markers proved to be the highest percentage of a team's goals in the NHL (20.5%).

Video: POST-GAME RAW | Draisaitl 03.26.19

Shortly after the Kings couldn't take advantage of their first PP on the night, Kassian capitalized on a 2-on-1 with Kyle Brodziak. During a delayed penalty call, the 6-foot-3 winger elected to shoot and tucked in his 15th marker of the season inside the far post.

Nugent-Hopkins would round out a strong first period by completing his third career hat trick with two goals just 5:30 apart.

Jack Campbell was called upon by Kings head coach Willie Desjardins to start the second period after Jonathan Quick allowed five goals on 11 shots.

"Those are always tough games to coach," said Hitchcock. "When the game gets loose, nobody is stopping and starting, everybody is swinging (their sticks) and you get sucked into that game."

Drew Doughty broke a 25-game goalless drought in the middle frame on the Kings' third power play. Doughty's one-timer was the 464th point of his career. He now trails current Kings General Manager and Hockey Hall of Famer Rob Blake by 30 points for most points scored by a Kings defenceman.

McDavid inched closer to his second straight 40-goal season by tucking a Draisaitl pass between the wickets of Campbell. With his four points on the night, McDavid now has 52 points on home ice this season (29 games).

Video: POST-GAME RAW | Hitchcock 03.26.19

Just under three minutes later, Draisaitl would find the goal column once again with his second of the night, extending to the Oilers' lead to 7-2.

Dustin Brown and Carl Grundstrom both capitalized on chances late in the middle frame to bring the Kings within three before Draisaitl completed a hat trick of his own -- his second career three-goal game, including playoffs -- in the final period as the Oilers rout the Kings by a final score of 8-4.

"I like what we did in the third period," said Hitchcock following the win. "The players dug deep in the third period, we didn't give up odd-man rushes and we ended up winning the period by a goal. I liked our response in the third.

"I thought the way we stopped it and turned it back around in the third was good."

Draisaitl jumped ahead of Toronto's John Tavares for second place in the Rocket Richard race as the Oilers forward is now only three goals behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin.

"Your best players have to be your best players," said Hitchcock. "(McDavid, Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins) have been our best players since day one. Our best players have carried the day and we've played them a lot and quite frankly, they've earned it."

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