EditorsNote: 7th graf reworded, 8th graf takes out extra word “after”
Rickard Rakell notched a natural hat trick in the second period and the Anaheim Ducks handed the host Edmonton Oilers a crushing 5-1 loss Saturday night that all but eliminated the Oilers from the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons.
Goalie John Gibson made 30 saves for the Ducks (33-37-10, 76 points), who have long been eliminated from the playoff picture.
The chances of Edmonton (34-35-9, 77 points) reaching the postseason were on life support, but the loss all but sealed the club’s fate. The Oilers are eight points out of a playoff position with four games remaining.
Curiously, the Ducks overcame a massive miscue in the opening seconds. The lineup card general manager/coach Bob Murray submitted had the injured Troy Terry on it and listed Jake Dotchin as a scratch. Dotchin was suited up but ruled ineligible, so the Ducks had to play with five defensemen.
Thanks to Rakell’s exploits, it was no big deal. After Corey Perry put the Ducks on the board just past the 15-minute mark, Rakell took flight in the second period.
He doubled the lead 81 seconds into the middle frame by firing a short-side shot from the left faceoff dot. Rakell’s second of the game came at 8:48 of the period when he chipped home a rebound, then he completed his second career hat trick with another goal from the same spot as his first with 4:47 left in the period.
It was Rakell’s second hat trick, and both have come against the Oilers.
Devin Shore’s tally 89 seconds into the third period — a one-timer coming after Sam Carrick cleanly won the faceoff in Edmonton’s zone — made it a five-goal advantage.
Jakob Silfverberg and Hampus Lindholm each collected two assists in the win.
However, Sam Gagner spoiled Gibson’s shutout bid with 6:51 remaining in regulation.
Edmonton starting goalie Mikko Koskinen was given the hook after the fourth goal, having stopped 17 shots, while Anthony Stolarz made 16 saves in his relief appearance.
—Field Level Media