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McDavid’s hat trick levels Oilers’ series vs. Blackhawks

Connor McDavid’s first career playoff hat trick led the host Edmonton Oilers to a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of their Western Conference qualifying series on Monday.

The best-of-five series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is on Wednesday in Edmonton, with the Blackhawks as the designated home team.

After collecting a goal and two assists in Game 1, McDavid recorded another three-point performance with his first multi-goal game in the postseason.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins assisted on all three of McDavid’s goals while Edmonton forward Alex Chiasson had a goal and an assist. James Neal and Tyler Ennis also scored for the Oilers.

Patrick Kane and Slater Koekkoek each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks. Olli Maatta scored a goal, and Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach each had two assists.

McDavid scored just 19 seconds into the game, the second game in a row that Edmonton jumped out on top.

At 4:05 of the first period, McDavid delivered a spectacular solo effort for his next goal. The former Hart Trophy winner collected a pass near center ice and rushed toward net, outmaneuvering Maatta and backhanding a shot past Corey Crawford.

The Blackhawks followed McDavid’s highlight-reel goal with a impressive effort of their own five minutes later. DeBrincat sent a well-placed backhand pass from behind the net onto the stick of Kane, who buried the 51st postseason goal of his career.

Ennis scored 1:44 into the second period to extend the Oilers’ lead to 3-1, but the Blackhawks equalized on goals from two unlikely scorers, defensemen Koekkoek and Maatta.

A fortunate bounce helped McDavid put Edmonton ahead for good at 17:10 of the second period. During an Oilers power play, McDavid’s pass attempt through the zone deflected off Chicago’s Duncan Keith at 17:10 and into the net.

Some strong forechecking from the Oilers deep in the Blackhawks’ end led to goals from Neal and Chiasson within a 40-second span in the third period.

Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen stopped 23 of 26 shots to earn the victory in his first career postseason start.

Crawford stopped 29 of 35 shots in the Blackhawks’ net.

–Field Level Media

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