Draisaitl's hat trick helps Oilers beat Ducks, clinch playoffs
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Leon Draisaitl scored three goals to reach 50 for the season, Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-0 on Saturday night to clinch their fourth straight playoff berth.
Zach Hyman also had a goal and an assist, and Darnell Nurse also scored, and Mattias Ekholm had two assists to help Edmonton win its fourth straight and earn at least a point for the 10th straight game (9-0-1).
“It was a good night. There were lots of great plays by the guys around me, looking for me. I am proud and very fortunate to have done it,” said Draisaitl, who scored his third goal short-handed to become just the 12th player in NHL history to have three seasons with 50 goals and 50 assists.
“I was probably being a little too selfish in the third, I was shooting it from everywhere. I think that is all right. Usually, I tend to overpass it so for once in my life it is OK. There were some great plays. I didn’t think it was going to happen on the kill, but I will take it.”
Jack Campbell stopped 36 shots for his 10th career shutout — first since last April 26 against Detroit.
“I thought that Soup (Campbell) made some really big saves, especially early in the first,” McDavid said. “I thought we were a little bit sloppy at the beginning of the game, but he was solid and gave us a chance to get our feet under us.
“I am really, really happy for him. Obviously it has been an up-and-down year for him and he has battled so hard, so to be rewarded, the boys love that.”
The Oilers, who beat Los Angeles 2-0 on Thursday night, got their second straight shutout after not having one for the first 75 games of the season.
John Gibson was pulled in the third period after giving up five goals on 36 shots for Anaheim, which has lost seven straight and nine of 10 (1-8-1). Lukas Dostal came on and finished with eight saves.
“Edmonton has a top-notch explosive team,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought we had a really good first period, maybe one of our best periods of the year. But I think the discrepancy is finish on the two teams, they’re loaded with guys that can finish and we’re challenged with it.
“I think the differential of shots was four, they had 36 we had 32, we just couldn’t get anything past their goaltender tonight.”
Ryan Strome had Campbell cleanly beat 3 1/2 minutes in, but hit the post. With eight minutes left Frank Vatrano had a couple of opportunities in tight, but was stoned by the Oilers' goalie.
Hyman deflected Mattias Ekholm's long shot off Gibson and in with 2:04 left in the first to get the Oilers on the scoreboard. It was his 34th of the season.
Draisaitl got a pass from Evander Kane, skated in and lifted a backhander into the top right corner to double Edmonton's lead at 2:03 of the second.
Nurse fired a shot from the slot through Gibson's five-hole and in for his 11th at 5:05 to make it 3-0.
After McDavid's point shot hit Hyman, standing on the left doorstep, the puck landed on the right side and Draisaitl quickly knocked it in for a power-play goal with 8:16 left in the middle period.
McDavid got his league-leading 62nd to make it 5-0 at 4:25 of the third, and Draisaitl completed his second hat trick of the season and seventh of his career with about five minutes remaining.
Draisaitl reached the 50-goal mark for the third time in his career.
“This one is very exciting to me because it was at home and the other two were on the road,” Draisaitl said. “It was great to do it in front of our home fans.”
Draisaitl also combined with McDavid to be the first teammates to hit 50 goals in the same season since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did it for Pittsburgh in 1995-1996.
Ducks: At Calgary on Sunday night to finish a three-game trip.
Oilers: At Los Angeles on Tuesday night to open a four-game trip.
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