Zach Hyman scored his first career hat trick as the Edmonton Oilers toppled the Nashville Predators 6-3 in Tennessee on Tuesday night.
The Predators scored on the first shot of the game just 1:15 in when Cody Glass’ long shot dove through the pads of Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell and trickled over the line.
The Oilers took over after that. Hyman deflected home an Evan Bouchard point shot. He then jammed a puck over the line a few minutes later to make it 2-1.
With 4.9 seconds left in the first, Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fed Leon Draisaitl for his patented power-play one-timer which went into the net. It was Draisaitl’s 20th goal of the year.
Nashville forward Ryan Johansen beat Campbell with a one-timer early in the second, but Draisaitl restored the Oilers’ two-goal advantage with a mid-range wrister just 57 seconds later.
At the halfway point of the period, Predators defenceman Dante Fabbro ripped a shot past Campbell’s glove to cut the Edmonton lead to 4-3.
With the Oilers on a power play with just over one minute remaining in the second, Connor McDavid roared into the Nashville zone, cut into the middle and fired a shot past Nashville goaltender Kevin Lankinen for his 26th.
The Predators pulled Lankinen for an extra attacker late in the third. Hyman outraced Predators defenceman Roman Josi to a loose puck and chopped it into the vacated cage.
After the game, McDavid told reporters he was happy for his teammate.
“He had a close call last year,” McDavid said. “It does mean something.
“He’s definitely worked hard, brings it each and every night, so it’s nice to see him get rewarded.”
Draisaitl had five points, giving him 10 points against Nashville in two games this season. McDavid and Hyman both had four points. Campbell made 29 saves.
Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said the top line of Draisaitl, McDavid and Hyman set the pace for the game.
Offensively, they were feeling it,” he said after the game. “We were able to not overtax them either.
“It was a tight game, but we were able to get good contribution from that line. (Nashville) didn’t have an answer for them on tonight’s occasion.”
The Oilers (17-13) will host the St. Louis Blues in Edmonton on Thursday. You can listen to live coverage of the game on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 5:30 p.m. The actual game starts at 7 p.m.
–With files from James Dunn, 630 CHED