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Rakell’s hat trick drives Ducks past Edmonton Oilers

Anaheim Ducks celebrate a goal as Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) skates to the bench during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday March 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Rickard Rakell notched a hat trick for the Anaheim Ducks in their 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night at Rogers Place.

“We’ve played really well, but tonight was a night we were way too easily discouraged,” Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said.

“It felt great for our team. We were not happy about how we got dominated by Calgary last night,” Rakell said. “When we get a good first period like that, we’re just trying to keep it going in the second and when you get a couple goals, the whole team feels good.”

Corey Perry opened the scoring with 4:53 left in the first period when his wrist shot fluttered in off the glove of Mikko Koskinen.

The Ducks pulled away in the second with Rakell scoring a natural hat trick. His third goal with 4:47 left in the period spelled the end of the night for Koskinen, who allowed four goals on 17 shots. Rakell scored once over the blocker, once on a rebound, and once on the glove side.

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“He’s a shooter. He showed that tonight,” Ducks forward Corey Perry said. “He’s been doing that his whole career, he’s got a lethal shot and he’s using it a lot more.”

“I don’t want to get into picking who was bad,” Hitchcock said. “We need better play from our leaders, we need better play from our top players, and we need better play from our role player. Have I missed anybody? Good.”

Listen Below: Ken Hitchcock

READ MORE: Ken Hitchcock comfortable with uncertain future with Edmonton Oilers

Devin Shore made it 5-0 early in the third. Sam Gagner broke John Gibson’s shutout with 6:51 left. Milan Lucic earned an assist for his 500th NHL point.

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“You can’t make excuses,” Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse said. “You have to bring the emotion, you have to bring compete every time you step on the ice.”

“You’ve got to find a way to get your emotional level up when things go wrong,” Gagner said. “We didn’t do that tonight. Definitely a frustrating loss.”

Listen Below: Sam Gagner

The Oilers, 34-35-9, are now one point away from being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. They’ll visit Vegas on Monday.

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