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Hyman has natural hat trick as Oilers rock Capitals

Zach Hyman Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — Zach Hyman had a natural hat trick as the Edmonton Oilers won their second game in a row, rolling to a 7-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists for the Oilers (40-21-3), who have gone 7-1-1 in their last nine games.

Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists for Edmonton, while Warren Foegele and Connor Brown also scored.

Goalie Stuart Skinner made 23 saves for the win.

Ivan Miroshnichenko and Connor McMichael replied for the Capitals (30-25-9), who have lost two in a row.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 30 of 37 shots he faced in Washington's net.

Edmonton started the scoring 4:36 into the opening period on the second half of a double minor power play as Draisaitl unleashed his patented one-timer, beating Kuemper for his 33rd of the season. McDavid picked up an assist to extend his home-game point streak to 26 games, the longest of his career of that ilk.

The Oilers made it 2-0 seven minutes into the first on another power play as McDavid walked in and picked his spot, scoring his 25th of the season.

Washington got one back with a goal on its first shot of the game a minute-and-a-half later as Miroshnichenko took a wild swing at a bouncing puck from a bad angle and it got past Skinner. It was Miroshnichenko’s second goal of the season, coming in his eighth career NHL game.

The Capitals also struck on their second shot of the contest, coming on the power play 11 minutes into the first period after an Alex Ovechkin shot was blocked but went to McMichael for his 13th.

Edmonton regained the lead 29 seconds later as the puck caromed around in front and ended up on the stick of Hyman, who whacked his second attempt past Kuemper for his team-leading 44th goal of the campaign. Hyman has scored in 10 straight home games, tying Wayne Gretzky for the longest home scoring streak in Oilers’ history.

Skinner stopped the Caps from scoring on their third shot as well, desperately diving across to stop Ovechkin with 1:41 to play in the first.

Edmonton took a two-goal lead with six minutes to play in the second period as Nugent-Hopkins feathered a pass through to Hyman on an odd-man break and he sent a shot off the post and in for his second of the game.

The Oilers got a third power-play goal with 52 seconds remaining in the middle frame as an Evan Bouchard bomb was ticked in by Hyman for the natural hat trick. The goal wasn’t officially awarded to the veteran forward until late in the third period, giving him 46 on the year.

Edmonton added to its lead midway through the third as Ryan McLeod made a pass from behind the goal line to Foegele, who netted his 15th.

Just 19 seconds later, came a moment Oilers fans have waited all season for.

Evander Kane fed it in front to a hard-charging Brown and he deflected it past Kuemper for his first of the season and first goal since March 24, 2022, a 72-game goalless drought. Oilers fans gave Brown a lengthy standing ovation and even peppered the ice with hats. Trade deadline acquisition Adam Henrique picked up an assist for his first point as an Oiler.

NOTES — Edmonton was 5-12-1 when they beat the Capitals 5-0 in Washington on Nov. 24. The win has been credited by many as the turning point of the season, as Edmonton has amassed a 34-9-2 record between games against Washington … Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm was ill, making room for Troy Stecher to make his debut for the team after being acquired last Thursday from the Arizona Coyotes … The Capitals got a huge boost as three players — Nic Dowd (upper body), Martin Fehervary (lower body) and Tom Wilson (upper body)— all returned from injury … McDavid joined Nikita Kucherov as just the second active player to post multiple 80-assist seasons … McDavid also became the first player with 30 points in a 10-game span at home since Mario Lemieux in 1995-1996 … Draisaitl picked up an assist to pass Glenn Anderson for fifth in franchise history in that category.

UP NEXT — Capitals: Play the third game of a five-game road trip in Seattle on Thursday.

Oilers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, the second game of a four-game homestand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2024.