SEATTLE, WA – Evander Kane He scored his sixth career regular-season hat-trick to lead the Oilers to a major division victory over the Kraken on Saturday afternoon in Seattle.
Heading into the morning matchup at Climate Pledge Arena, the Kraken sat just one point behind Edmonton for third place in the Pacific, but the 6-4 win allowed the Oilers to extend their lead to three as they reached the 70-mark. campaign games.
Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game at SEA 03.18.23
It took the Oilers just 98 seconds to get the start they were looking for in Seattle when Evander Kane hit a wrist shot for his 11th goal in game 29 of his injury-shortened season. Nurse Darnell made a breaking pass from deep in the Oilers zone to find zach hyman on the Kraken blue line, and Hyman found Kane with a cross zone shot, allowing the winger to slip a long-range shot through the legs of Philipp Grubauer and spot Edmonton with an early 1-1 lead. 0.
GAME OF THE GAME
With the game tied 1-1 late in the first period, the Oilers reestablished their lead on a pristine passing sequence finished off by Washington native Kailer Yamamoto for his ninth of the season. Leon Draisaitl battled a check from 6-foot-7 defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and found Ryan Nugent-Hopkins open near the left faceoff spot. The longest-serving Oiler fed Yamamoto parked in front of Grubauer for a timer through the five holes and a 2-1 Edmonton lead with 3:24 to go in the frame.
“It was a good pre-check,” said the Spokane native, whose parents Russ and LeAnn attended Saturday. “Leo gave it to Nuge. I actually thought Nuge was going to shoot it, but it was a great pass and I was able to slide it five holes.”
Video: POST-RAW | Kailer Yamamoto 03.18.23
STU FROM SEATTLE
Stuart Skinner he stopped 33 of the 37 shots he faced on a busy afternoon to earn his seventh win in his last eight starts. The Edmonton native was particularly busy in the first two frames as Kraken sent 29 shots his way, but Skinner persevered along the way to improve his record to 22-14-4 on the season.
“He was terrific today,” Woodcroft said of the goalie. “I thought there were times where they locked us up. That’s part of the way they play, you have to give them credit. They do a lot of good things and they’re an offensive team, so they’re not going to be perfect defensively all the time. That’s why you need a goalkeeper, and he made some big saves when called upon.”
The Oilers held a slim 4-3 lead going into the final frame until Kane scored his hat-trick goal with 9:40 left for the eventual game-winner. Draisaitl threw a patented tape-to-tape backhand pass from inside the Oilers zone to Kane cutting through the neutral zone, creating a two-on-one run with Mattias Janmark on the opposite wing. Kane gave Janmark a momentary glance and froze goalkeeper Martin Jones before slotting a perfect wrist shot into the top corner for his 13th of the year.
Video: POST-RAW | Evander Kane 03.18.23
THE BEST INTERPRETER
Kane posted his second three-goal performance of the season and fifth hat-trick in his last 49 regular season and playoff appearances as he looks to fire up with the playoffs fast approaching.
“It’s good to help contribute to an important victory,” he said. “Big points with the division so tight. I’ve been in and out of the lineup with injuries all year, so just trying to get into a rhythm heading into the playoffs, and tonight definitely helps.”
“Happy for him,” Woodcroft said of Kane’s stellar performance. “He’s a warrior. He’s playing through the injuries. He’s just getting up and running again just because of his injuries and all that. It’s been an up and down season for him, but he’s been around the puck in any game he’s ever played. played and for three that came on for him tonight, I was happy for him.”
Yamamoto on winning against an enemy from the Pacific Division:
“It’s really big. Every game down the stretch right now is huge for us. We need to keep working and keep finding ways to get these Ws.”
Kane on the tight Western Conference standings:
“This is probably the closest I’ve seen from the entire conference, both divisions, where you can literally be in first place in the Western Conference, or you could be in a wild card spot in a matter of a week. It’s still tight. There are still very big games down the stretch to play, and I think it’s a great opportunity for our group to enjoy that kind of challenge and get them ready for the postseason.”
Video: POST-RAW | Jay Woodcroft 03.18.23
Kane on continuing to regain his scoring touch:
“I think just having opportunities to get into positions to get pucks, shoot more at the puck. I only made three shots. I’m a volume shooter, so I think getting more shots gives you a better chance to put more pucks down the field.” . grid. I think I’ll continue to have that throw-the-puck mentality.”
Woodcroft on competing for a position on the leaderboard:
“What we do in Edmonton is try to focus on our daily process. We don’t look at the standings, we don’t get bogged down with who won last night and who didn’t win and what that means to us.” We just want to be the best we can that day and take care of business for that day. I think by having that kind of mindset, you don’t spend a lot of energy worrying about things that are out of your control. what is under your control. Tonight our job or task was to get two points in a tough building and we were able to do it.”
Woodcroft on having Hyman back in the lineup:
“He had some lingering things that were bothering him, and he’s had good numbers against Seattle on the year. I just thought when he came up to me yesterday and said, I’m in, I was very pleased. Sometimes when you play as hard as he does … you rack up some bumps and bruises during a long grind of an 82-game schedule. In the end, he played today and was a big factor in our victory.”