EditorsNote: Edits for clarity
Kevin Labanc recorded his first career hat trick to lift the visiting San Jose Sharks to their fifth straight win on Saturday, 5-2 over the Edmonton Oilers.
Joe Thornton set up Labanc’s first and third goals to tie Hall of Famer Gordie Howe for ninth place on the NHL’s all-time assists list with 1,049. The 39-year-old Thornton was playing in his 1,540th game, tying Shane Doan and Hall of Famer Johnny Bucyk for 15th place in NHL history.
Evander Kane scored his eighth goal in eight contests to reach the 400-point plateau for his career, before adding an assist on Labanc’s power-play tally in the second period. Tomas Hertl also scored and set up a goal, and Aaron Dell finished with 21 saves for the Sharks, who have won 12 of their past 15 games.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored to extend his point streak to four games (one goal, five assists) for the Oilers, who have dropped seven of eight overall (1-5-2) and been outscored 19-8 en route to losing their last three encounters with San Jose. Zack Kassian also tallied, and Cam Talbot turned aside 26 shots in the loss.
Midway through the first period, Thornton gained entry into the offensive zone before finding Labanc, whose wrist shot caromed off Edmonton defenseman Kevin Gravel and past Talbot to open scoring.
San Jose doubled the advantage just 99 seconds later, with Joonas Donskoi sending a diagonal feed from the upper edge of the left circle to Kane at the right doorstep for an easy tap-in goal. Hertl also got an assist on Kane’s 24th goal, giving him a career-high 26 assists on the season.
Labanc’s wrist shot from the slot sailed over the glove of Talbot to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead at 6:10 of the second period, before Nugent-Hopkins cleaned up a rebound to put the Oilers on the scoreboard nearly six minutes later.
Labanc completed his hat trick with a wrist shot from the slot on an odd-man rush at 1:36 of the third period. Hertl tallied under three minutes later before Kassian capped the scoring with 5:57 remaining in the game.
—Field Level Media