Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) and Calgary Flames' Sam Bennett (93) battle for the puck during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Connor McDavid scores hat-trick, adds two assists as Oilers batter Flames 7-1

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers superstar captain continues to amaze and get the better of his team’s provincial rival.

Connor McDavid scored a natural hat-trick and added two assists in a 7-1 Edmonton Oilers win over the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

McDavid assisted on his team’s first two goals before scoring Edmonton’s next three. The best of his three goals came on a two-on-one in the second period where he sped into the zone and acted as if he was looking for a pass before firing the puck into the net.

When asked how he scored the goal, without looking at Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom until the puck left his stick, McDavid refused to divulge his “secrets.”

“Two-on-ones haven’t necessarily been my friend this year,” McDavid said. “I’m looking to pass and I’ve made a couple of mistakes on those. I just look to make it a little bit easier and just shoot it at the net. Obviously, five-hole is a good shot, I think. I think it was fortunate to go in.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added a pair of goals for the Oilers. Alex Chiasson and Josh Archibald also scored for Edmonton.

The win gives the Oilers a second consecutive victory over the Flames, whom they bested 2-1 Friday night in Calgary.

“To be able to win both (games), and in regulation, is big for us,” McDavid said. “But, it’s still early on in the year. There’s lots of hockey left. We’re playing well, but we need to keep winning games.”

Andrew Mangiapane scored the Flames’ (8-9-1) lone goal. Calgary has now lost three straight.

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk didn’t mince words after the blowout loss, calling it one of the “toughest moments” he’s endured since joining the organization as a first-round draft pick in 2016.

“That sucked,” he said. “Let’s call a spade a spade here.”

Jacob Markstrom made 10 saves on 15 shots before being pulled for David Rittich in the second period. Rittich ended his night with seven saves on nine shots.

Mikko Koskinen made 43 saves for Edmonton (12-8-0).

Alex Chiasson scored a power play goal nearly three minutes and 30 seconds into the first period. He redirected a pass from Connor McDavid past Markstrom and into the net.

The Oilers then doubled their advantage with a goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins over a minute later, with McDavid yet again picking up an assist.

Andrew Mangiapane cut the Oilers’ lead in half with a goal of his own. It came amidst a goalmouth scramble in front of Koskinen. The referees reviewed the play before confirming their initial call on the ice.

McDavid scored his team’s second power play goal of the night after tipping a point shot from Tyson Barrie. It was his third point of the period.

The Oilers captain scored his second of the game in the second period. He took the puck away from Flames defender Noah Hanifin then charged up the wing. He entered the zone and looked as if he was going to pass to a teammate, drawing a defender towards him, but Instead he fired on target, beating Markstrom for his 11th goal of the season.

“His stickhandling is so fast,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “I think, for the goalie, it’s almost impossible for them to make a read on that. Before you know it, he’s putting it right between their pads.”

McDavid completed the hat-trick before the mid-point of the period.

Nugent-Hopkins added his second of the game with 7:22 left in the period. McDavid didn’t register a point on the play, but he was on the ice.

Archibald scored his team’s seventh of the game 36 seconds into the third period, putting the lead well out of reach for the rival Flames.

NOTES: Edmonton Oilers defenceman Slater Koekkoek left the game in the first period after taking a hit from Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett…The Oilers also lost forward Kailer Yamamoto due to injury partway through the game.

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