EDMONTON, Alberta — Evander Kane was without a team in January after his contract was terminated. He’s now a crucial member of Edmonton’s playoff push.
Kane scored three goals in six minutes in the second half, Leon Draisaitl set an NHL record with four assists in a playoff period, and the Oilers defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1 Sunday night to go 2-1 in Second round playoff series lead.
Kane signed with the Oilers in January, weeks after San Jose fired him following a series of off-ice incidents.
“I’m just happy to be a part of this group,” Kane said. “I’m just trying to do my part.”
Zach Hyman had the other goal for Edmonton and Connor McDavid had three more assists. Mike Smith, briefly replaced by Mikko Koskinen in the third half after being bowled over by Milan Lucic, made 31 saves. Koskinen didn’t have to stop in just over four minutes.
McDavid now has 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 10 postseason games. The only players in NHL playoff history with more points in the same span are Wayne Gretzky (29 in 1983; 25 in 1985), Mario Lemieux (25 in 1992), and Rick Middleton (23 in 1983).
“He was on fire in the playoffs and took his game to the next level,” Kane said. “He doesn’t just do it on the score sheet. That’s what allows him to really show his skills. He’s physical, he’s involved. A dominant force.”
Oliver Kylington scored the only goal for Calgary. Jacob Markstrom allowed four goals on 34 shots before being drawn for the Flames, who were outplayed 8-1 since their 3-1 lead in the second period of Game 2. Dan Vladar made seven saves in relief.
“We lose the second period 4-0,” said Calgary defender Rasmus Andersson. “We let one guy (McDavid) dominate.”
The Oilers are looking to take a 3-1 lead in Tuesday night’s best-of-seven series in Edmonton.
At the first Edmonton playoff meeting with the Oilers and Flames since April 14, 1991, the Oilers scored four goals in just over 12 minutes of the second period — including Kane’s second hat trick of the month.
Hyman opened the scoring 52 seconds into halftime after a setup from Draisaitl and McDavid for his sixth goal of the postseason.
Kane scored his first of the night at 6:58 from a feed from Draisaitl.
Kane made it 3-0 just 53 seconds later after an impressive onslaught from McDavid after passing Calgary defender Noah Hanifin.
Kane completed his hat trick – the seventh fastest in NHL postseason history – with his 10th goal of the playoffs at 12:58 in a 2-on-1 with McDavid.
Kane, 30, is the third Edmonton player, after Gretzky (1983) and Petr Kilma (1991), to score three straight goals in a postseason game.
After his contract was voided by San Jose, Kane re-signed with his fourth NHL team despite questions about his past — suspensions for violating COVID-19 protocol, a bankruptcy and avowed gambling problems. There were also allegations of assault and domestic violence.
“I didn’t know Evander Kane at all,” said Jay Woodcroft, Edmonton’s interim head coach, who replaced Dave Tippett, who was fired, in February. “What I’ve learned is that he’s a hockey player with really, really good habits.
“There’s a reason he’s successful.”
Draisaitl’s fourth assist in the second period, meanwhile, set the playoff record for any period.
“He was really good for our group,” Kane said. “Seems to find a different level every night.”
Markstrom, who allowed 11 combined goals in Games 1 and 2 after posting a .941 save percentage in the opening round against the Dallas Stars, got the hook in Vladar’s favor to start the third.
Lucic rolled Smith behind the Oilers’ net midway through the third, sparking a melee involving all 10 skaters. The Edmonton goalkeeper was subsequently removed in favor of Koskinen, but returned shortly after.
Kylington scored a consolation goal for the visitors with less than five minutes remaining – his first of the playoffs.
“They have home field advantage right now. We’ve got to win a game here to get it back,” said Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. “We could have lost 10-0 tonight. We could have lost 1-0 in extra time. It’s the same result. We were in that position in the last series. It’s not that hard to figure out a recipe here.
“We just have to win a game and tie the series and go home.”
https://nypost.com/2022/05/22/evander-kanes-hat-trick-lifts-oilers-over-flames-in-game-3/ Evander Kane’s hat trick lifts Oilers over Flames in Game 3