Hall highlights exciting 3rd period with hat trick
|Edmonton's Taylor Hall gets the puck past Atlanta's Chris Mason Saturday, Feb. 19 at Rexall Place. Hall scored three goals to lift the Oilers over the Thrashers 5-3. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
Saturday's matinee vs. the Thrashers started slowly but finished fantastically for the Oilers. With his club down 3-1 early in the third period, rookie Taylor Hall
ignited and fired home three consecutive goals to give himself a natural hat trick and the Oilers the lead. A late empty-netter for Ales Hemsky
sealed the 5-3 victory, Edmonton's third in a row.
Under the Scope
Two minutes after opening puck drop, Atlanta's Blake Wheeler was called for hooking. Edmonton couldn't register a shot on the power-play, however, and once back at even strength, the visitors countered with a goal. From the right point, Dustin Byfuglien fired a slapshot past Devan Dubnyk
to give the Thrashers a 1-0 lead.
Shortly after the goal, the Oilers experienced a second unsuccessful power-play. The teams stayed out of the penalty box and the net through the frame's remaining 12 minutes, ensuring the Thrashers would carry their slim lead into the second period.
Early in the middle frame, the Thrashers swept in on Dubnyk and added another goal. Spotting a juicy rebound, Andrew Ladd batted the puck top shelf to set the score 2-0 less than a minute in.
At 5:42, Atlanta benefited from its first power-play when Jordan Eberle
earned two minutes for holding the stick. Edmonton excelled on the penalty-kill, testing Chris Mason with two shorthanded shots and drawing a delay-of-game penalty from Byfuglien to shorten their term.
Near the game's midway point, Atlanta's Mark Stuart hit Liam Reddox
in front of the Oilers bench, prompting swift retaliation from Jean-Francois Jacques
. Jacques and Stuart dropped their gloves for a feisty fight and were assessed five-minute majors for their efforts.
Jacques was briefly joined by Ladislav Smid
in the penalty box after Smid was called for delay of game. But video review proved the glass -- not Smid's stick -- forced the puck into the stands and the Oilers defenceman was set free.
Fans cheered the call and, less than a minute later, cheered an Oilers goal. With help from Linus Omark
, Magnus Paajarvi
surged up the right wing and slipped the puck under Mason to get Edmonton on the board and back within one.
Two late Oilers penalties meant the home team would start the final frame down one goal and one man.
An early hooking minor to Tobias Enstrom shortened the Thrashers power-play, but four-on-four failed to benefit the Oilers: at 1:12, Evander Kane snapped the puck past Dubnyk to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
Another visiting penalty helped Edmonton soon get that one back, however. 23 seconds into four-on-three, Taylor Hall
fooled Mason with a quick wrist-shot, setting the score 3-2. Then 39 seconds after that, Hall sunk another power-play wrister to tie the game.
With just over seven minutes remaining in regulation, Nik Antropov took four minutes for high sticking. 1:50 into the extended power-play, Hall capitalized on a scramble in front of Mason and netted his third straight power-play goal for a natural hat trick, the first hat trick of his career.
Finding themselves down 4-3, the Trashers pulled Mason in the final minute. With 12 seconds left on the clock, Hemsky fired into the empty net to earn his third point of the day, cap a 5-3 win, and seal a three-game winning streak for the Oilers.
|Three star selections