Kane hat trick fuels Oilers 4-1 win over Flames to take series lead
Evander Kane didn't have a team four months ago.
The controversial winger lugging around plenty of off-ice baggage was confident of an NHL return at some point. He just didn't know when or where.
Now he's filling the net alongside two of hockey's best.
Kane scored a natural hat trick during an electric six-minute span and Connor McDavid provided more magic with three assists in another dominant performance as the Edmonton Oilers downed the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in their second-round playoff series.
“I'm just happy to be part of this group,” said Kane, who had his contract terminated by the San Jose Sharks in January before signing on in the Alberta capital. “Just trying to do my part.”
McDavid, meanwhile, now has 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) through 10 playoff games this spring. The only players in post-season history with more over the same span are Wayne Gretzky (29 in 1983 and 25 in 1985), Mario Lemieux (25 in 1992) and Rick Middleton (23 in 1983).
“He's been on fire in the playoffs and has taken his game to the next level,” Kane said. “He's not just doing it on the scoresheet. That's what's allowing him to really showcase his skill. He's physical, he's involved. A dominant force.”
Leon Draisaitl, meanwhile, became the first player in league history to register four assists in a playoff period by setting up each of the home side's goals in a frantic second as the Oilers' top line combined for 10 points. Zach Hyman had the other goal for Edmonton.
“(Draisaitl) has been really good for our group,” Kane said of a teammate sitting second behind McDavid in the overall playoff scoring race with 19 points despite battling through a suspected injury.
“Seems to find another level each and every night.”
Mike Smith, who was briefly pulled from the action by the league's independent concussion spotter midway through the third after getting clobbered into the boards by Milan Lucic, made 32 saves for the victory.
Oliver Kylington replied for Calgary, while Jacob Markstrom allowed four goals on 34 shots before getting the hook behind a Flames group that has been outscored 8-1 since taking a 3-1 lead in the second period of Game 2. Dan Vladar made seven saves in relief.
“We lose the second period 4-0,” Calgary defenceman Rasmus Andersson said. “We let one guy (McDavid) dominate.”
The Oilers will look to take a 3-1 stranglehold on the best-of-seven Battle of Alberta - the first post-season meeting between the provincial rivals in 31 years - Tuesday night back at Rogers Place.
The first playoff contest in Edmonton to feature the Oilers and Flames since April 14, 1991, when Theo Fleury scored in overtime of Game 6 to spark a wild and memorable celebration, the Oilers exploded for those four goals in just over 12 minutes in the middle period, including Kane's second hat trick of the month.
Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane skates amongst hats thrown onto the ice after his hat-trick during second period NHL second round playoff hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Edmonton, Sunday, May 22, 2022 (The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh).
Hyman opened the scoring with his sixth of the post-season 52 seconds after the restart following a 21-shot Edmonton first off a setup from Draisaitl and McDavid to ignite the crowd inside and outside the raucous, packed-to-the rafters arena.
“I think we had a lot of our younger guys that haven't been in this situation before (and) were a little bit intimidated by the atmosphere,” Calgary head coach Darryl Sutter said.
Kane scored his first of the night at 6:58 off a feed from Draisaitl after the Flames turned the puck over at the offensive blue line.
He then pushed the lead to 3-0 on an outrageous McDavid rush after stepping past Calgary defenceman Noah Hanifin like he wasn't even there just 53 seconds later.
“We've let one guy beat us a few nights now,” Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said of McDavid's mastery.
“Back to the drawing board and figure out a way to stop him.”
Smith made a great stop on a Johnny Gaudreau breakaway later in the period before also denying Tkachuk.
“Just trying to make saves for our group,” said the 40-year-old goaltender, who spent a big chunk of the season out injured. “Trying to stay as poised as possible.”
Kane completed his hat trick - the seventh-fastest in post-season history - with his 10th goal of the 2021-22 playoffs at 12:58 on a 2-on-1 with McDavid before fans littered the ice with headgear.
The 30-year-old Vancouver native is just the third Edmonton player to score three straight goals in a post-season game, joining Gretzky (1983) and Petr Kilma (1991).
After his contract was voided by San Jose, Kane signed on with his fourth NHL team despite plenty of questions about his past - from suspensions due to COVID-19 protocol violations, a bankruptcy and self-confessed gambling problems.
The biggest headlines from his personal life, however, were related to allegations of abuse lodged by his former wife, which were not proven in court. Kane has custody of the former couple's daughter.
“I didn't know Evander Kane at all,” said Edmonton interim head coach Jay Woodcroft, who replaced the fired Dave Tippett in February. “What I've learned is he is a hockey player with really, really good habits.
“There's a reason why he finds success.”
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 favour of Vladar to start the third with the Flames turning their attention to Game 4.
Seven points clear of Edmonton in the standings to top the Pacific Division and minus injured defenceman Chris Tanev (undisclosed) for a fourth straight contest, Calgary got a power play early in the final period looking for a spark, but Smith was sharp at every turn.
Lucic subsequently ran over the veteran netminder behind the Oilers' net midway through the third to ignite a melee involving all 10 skaters.
“When you're getting run through the end wall and you're not expecting it ... it's not an ideal situation,” Smith said.
“A play out of frustration, running our goalie,” added Kane.
Smith was removed by the spotter in favour of Koskinen, who didn't have to make a save in just over four minutes of action, before Edmonton's starter returned to a huge ovation after re-emerging from the locker room.
Kylington got a consolation goal for the visitors - his first of the playoffs - with under five minutes to go in regulation.
The Oilers fell behind early in both games at Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome, but following a wild 9-6 loss in the opener, rebounded with a 5-3 comeback victory two nights later to even the series.
Edmonton had a much better start Sunday, including Brett Kulak's point shot that leaked through Markstrom and hit post before being cleared.
The Flames had hoped to keep the action at 5-on-5 as much as possible after McDavid, Draisaitl and the Oilers took advantage of power play, short-handed and four-on-four situations in Game 3, but took two penalties to Edmonton's one in the first.
McDavid, who seemed to have the puck all night, went on one of his jaw-dropping rushes during his team's second man advantage, but Markstrom was there to deny the Oilers captain in what was a sign of things to come.
“Good to come back home and play these guys on our home ice,” Kane said. “A good win for our group.”
And one he probably didn't envision being part of not that long ago.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2022.
Edmonton Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Canada pledged $50 million to prevent Ukrainian grain from going to waste on Sunday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to work with G7 nations on further measures to halt the famine caused by the Russian invasion of the embattled country.
Canada's chief of defence says Russia's invasion of Ukraine is going to change the course of history.
Cat and dog owners who cuddle their pets when infected with COVID-19 could end up making the animals sick with the virus, according to a Canadian study.
David Cohen has been the United States' Ambassador to Canada since November 2021, and in the time since, both Canada and the United States have experienced a series of shared challenges. In an interview at his official residence in Ottawa, Cohen opens up about the state of the relationship.
Russian President Valdimir Putin was a target of mockery by leaders of the Group of Seven, as they sat around a table Sunday, commencing their three-day summit in Bavarian Alps, Germany.
Russia shattered weeks of relative calm in the Ukrainian capital with long-range missiles fired toward Kyiv early Sunday, an apparent Kremlin show-of-force as Western leaders meet in Europe to strengthen their military and economic support of Ukraine.
The latest on the G7 summit: The Group of Seven leading democratic economies has formally launched at its annual summit a global infastructure and investment partnership aimed at pushing back China's influence in the developing world.
Norway's prime minister and members of the royal family joined mourners at a memorial service Sunday at Oslo Cathedral for the victims of a shooting attack as the capital held its annual LGBTQ Pride festival.
New research looking at the frequency of heavy rainfall across the globe shows that a drastic increase in downpours is expected over the years to come.
Organizers of a central Alberta rodeo and its parade committee are calling for calm after a float in this weekend's parade, which possessed a racist theme, was seen in the procession.
Police are looking for suspects after they say a man was injured in a shooting late Saturday.
If you are looking for some more time on the slopes even though it's already summer, you might be pleased by an opportunity at Banff Sunshine Village.
The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party has elected Carla Beck as its new leader.
When Ennio Muzzolini walked into Christies Mayfair Bakery in 1965 interested in purchasing the small bakery on 33rd Street, he never imagined he’d one day be looking on as hundreds of people lined the block to get their hands on a baguette, cinnamon bun or wood-fired pizza.
Organizers have decided to cancel the Elk Ridge Open due to an “inordinate amount of rain.”
The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party has elected Carla Beck as its new leader.
The ‘ultra low fare’ carrier Swoop entered the Saskatchewan air travel market earlier in June and currently serves three domestic routes out of Regina and Saskatoon.
Several different communities gathered at the Core Ritche Neighbourhood Centre on Sunday to celebrate Welcome Kabayan. ‘Kabayan’ in Filipino means, ‘welcome fellow members of our community.’
As HMCS Kingston and Summerside pulled away from Halifax Harbour and deployed for Operation Reassurance, there was no shortage of emotion from family members who came to see them off.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of downtown Toronto on Sunday as the city's Pride parade returned for the first time in two years.
There are now more than 50 outdoor pools open across Toronto where people can go to beat the heat.
A heat warning remains in place for the remainder of the weekend in Toronto, but temperatures are expected to cool down Sunday evening.
A man in crisis stabbed several people Sunday morning in downtown Montreal, leaving one dead and three injured.
The Montreal fire department (SIM) is advising citizens to avoid the intersection of Sherbrooke St. East near Durocher Ave. as a major building fire is blazing.
McGill University medical students are trying to help treat people who are addicted to opioids. They say many aren't equipped to handle the withdrawal.
Students at Hillcrest High School in Ottawa took part in a walkout after some students say they have been victims of racist treatment. Allegations of racism have been swirling at the school for months and now the Ottawa Carleton District School Board is investigating the incidents.
There were approximately 36,260 reported Criminal Code of Canada offences in Ottawa in 2021, up eight per cent from 2020. Police reported 7,116 violent crimes and 29,146 non-violent crimes in Ottawa last year.
A Good Samaritan jumped into action on Saturday to help four people who were on paddleboards and heading towards rapids in Ottawa’s west end.
The latest developments for encampments in Waterloo Region, field trips being paid for, and a new hospital for the area round out the top stories of the week.
An essential caregiver in Waterloo Region is looking to remind the community that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and the protections in place for the most vulnerable may not be enough.
Norfolk County OPP are asking for the public's help with an arson case from three years ago.
OPP Tweet: Highway 17 closed at Sand Bay Road at the Spanish River bridge.
A person was taken to hospital after a shooting on the Sheguiandah First Nation on Manitoulin Island Friday.
The Holistic Healing Fair is back in Sault Ste. Marie following a two-year absence.
Residents in Gimli are dealing with overland flooding due to high water levels on Lake Winnipeg and strong winds.
'We can't believe it': Winnipeggers come together to throw surprise baby shower for new Ukrainian couple
A Winnipeg woman is making sure a couple from Ukraine is feeling right at home as they prepare to welcome their first child.
Lori Ann Mancheese's death is now one of five women in the span of about a month being grieved by members of the province's Indigenous community. Winnipeg police say three of those women were murdered.
About a hundred people gathered in downtown Vancouver on Sunday afternoon denouncing the U.S. Supreme court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which secured constitutional protection for abortion rights in the country for nearly 50 years.
With a heat warning in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, several cities have opened up dedicated indoor cooling centres and outdoor cooling stations. We've compiled a list of what's available and where.
Firefighters in Port Coquitlam extinguished a large fire in an apartment building on Wilson Avenue overnight.
Victoria police arrested a man for allegedly sexually assaulting several strangers in quick succession in the city's downtown Saturday night.
Each of the 28 pyramids holds 136 plants, which the Harvest and Share Food Society distributes to local food banks when they're mature.
Mounties on Quadra Island are investigating what they call a "linen heist" at a local resort.