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.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The U.S. military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast on orders from President Joe Biden, after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America, becoming the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The federal defence Minister says Canada 'unequivocally supports' the United States government's decision to shoot down a high-altitude surveillance balloon that was suspected of spying for China, noting the balloon violated Canadian airspace.
Canadians will continue to bundle up in the country's east this weekend as a recent bout of extreme cold persists in much of Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. CTVNews.ca looks at the signs and symptoms for frostbite and hypothermia to watch for if exposed to extreme cold.
China's foreign ministry said on Sunday that it expressed strong dissatisfaction and opposition towards the United States' use of force to attack its airship.
An early study has shown keeping your gums and teeth healthy may have added benefits for your brain health.
The federal government says it wants the RCMP to ban the use of two crowd-control tools that forces across the country say they have in their arsenals: sponge rounds and CS gas.
A cold snap that triggered Environment Canada alerts involving eight provinces and territories extended into a second day on Saturday, shattering several past temperature records and leaving thousands of customers in Atlantic Canada without power.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday the league's 2024 showcase will be played in Toronto for the ninth time.
The massive white orb drifting across U.S. airspace has triggered a diplomatic maelstrom and is blowing up on social media. A look at what's known about the balloon crossing the U.S. and what isn't.
Three people are in stable condition in hospital after a two-storey Calgary townhouse caught fire on Saturday morning.
Calgary police have identified a man they believe is connected to the sexual assault of a show home employee in Alpine Park.
Chinese New Year celebrations continued in Calgary's Chinatown district Friday night.
'100 per cent Filipino products': Saskatoon Filipino community hosts first trade show for a good cause
The Studio at Midtown Mall was host to the first edition of the Proudly Pinoy Filipino Trade Show this weekend.
BHP is moving forward with its plans to build the world's largest potash mine.
Saskatoon’s police chief, Troy Cooper, participated in a polar plunge as a fundraiser for Special Olympics Saskatchewan.
Above seasonal temperatures with snow squalls did not slow down the first day of Regina's Frost Festival.
Defensive lineman Pete Robertson will stay with the green and white this upcoming season, the Riders announced Saturday.
A child has been charged in the shooting death of another child on George Gordon First Nation, according to Saskatchewan RCMP.
Extreme cold warnings were in effect for the Maritimes Saturday, with feel-like temperatures hitting between -40C and -50C.
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is reassuring his party faithful that he still intends to fix the province's health-care system at whatever cost it takes.
A new medical school at the University of Prince Edward Island is set to start training its first class in fall 2024. But the nagging question is, with ongoing doctor shortages on the island, who’s going to teach?
Metrolinx begins to clear trees at Osgoode Hall, agrees to 'pause work' ahead of hearing on their removal
A spokesperson for the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) says Metrolinx began cutting down historic trees at Osgoode Hall in Toronto on Saturday before the Ontario Superior Court could hear an injunction to prevent their clearing.
Marit Stiles officially became the new leader of the Ontario NDP on Saturday after a majority of party members voted in favour of the lone candidate.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday the league's 2024 showcase will be played in Toronto for the ninth time.
Residents from Quebec to Newfoundland and Labrador are waking up this morning to more extreme cold weather. Emergency officials warned people to seek shelter and monitor for frostbite if they had to be outside overnight, as the temperature across much of Eastern Canada was expected to feel like -40 C to -50 C with the wind chill.
Another property reportedly belonging to a family member of Tony Accurso was the target of an arson attack in Laval early Saturday morning. The Laval fire department responded to a call at 3:22 a.m. about a fire at the building located at 1410 Jaffa Street in the Saint Rose district in the northern part of Laval.
Public consultation on controversial plan to convert Mile End warehouse into hotel, commercial space
The City of Montreal is holding a public consultation on a project that would transform an iconic industrial building on Van Horne Avenue into a hotel and commercial space. But some have called on the city to convert the space into affordable housing, arguing the current plan would only accelerate gentrification in the area.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says more than a dozen groups have filed applications to buy the Ottawa Senators, with a preliminary cut of the potential bidders expected later this month when the initial bids are submitted.
Black smoke was seen coming from the 22nd floor of Les Suites Hotel in downtown Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.
Ottawa firefighters responded to three fires overnight and a fourth late in the morning as extreme cold gripped the capital.
Waterloo regional police are investigating a car theft they say happened while the owner was vacuuming out their vehicle.
One person has been airlifted from the scene of a serious crash in North Perth.
Demonstrators in Cambridge are hoping greenbelt and conservation lands can be protected from new home development.
The suspect in an assault in M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island Thursday is still at large and police are seeking witnesses or video footage in hopes of finding him.
W5 Investigates | Daniel Jolivet insists he's not a murderer and says he has proof
Convicted murderer Daniel Jolivet, in prison for the past 30 years, has maintained his innocence since the day he was arrested. W5 reviews the evidence he painstakingly assembled while behind bars. W5's documentary 'Buried Evidence' airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on CTV.
The owner of Radical Gardens, a restaurant in Timmins said she's experienced nineteen robberies over the last eight years; with the most recent one taking place in the early morning hours Friday.
Donning toques, mitts and scarves Saturday, Winnipeg families didn't let some light snow spoil a break from the extreme cold.
A 57-year-old man is recovering in hospital after a stabbing in downtown Winnipeg Friday night.
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is calling on the federal government to do more for cancer patients, as the system continues to struggle nearly three years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past week, Vancouver police have seen a surge in reports about the so-called "bail money" or "grandchild" scam that targets seniors.
Current and former police officers are repeating their calls for change after a 17-year-old boy was shot dead in Burnaby this week.
Homicide investigators looking into a fatal shooting at a home in rural Abbotsford say they took two suspects into custody at the scene.
A man wanted in B.C. has been arrested in Oregon after a bizarre series of events involving a high seas rescue and a home made famous in the 1985 film "The Goonies."
The Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library will remain closed for significantly longer than initially planned.
Goldstone Consignment Boutique in downtown Duncan was recently hit by two smash-and-grab thefts within a 26-hour period.