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Connor McDavid’s hat trick powers Oilers past Flames

Connor McDavid notched a hat trick, and Jesse Puljujarvi collected a goal and two assists to lead the host Edmonton Oilers to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Derek Ryan also scored in the win and goaltender Mike Smith made 45 saves for the Oilers, who have started the season with a pair of victories. Leon Draisaitl collected three assists.

Andrew Mangiapane and Elias Lindholm replied for the Flames, while goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 28 shots in Calgary’s first game of the campaign. The Flames have lost 12 consecutive season-opening games.

McDavid, Draisaitl and Puljujarvi added to their notable career numbers against the Flames in their first Battle of Alberta showdown of the season, but it was Ryan who opened the scoring.

Despite the Flames holding the early momentum, Ryan, who signed with Edmonton as a free agent this past summer after three seasons in Calgary, batted a rebound out of mid-air at the 13:08 mark.

Then, the usual suspects made their mark. McDavid scored a power-play goal late in the opening frame and another five minutes into the second period to give the hosts a 3-0 edge.

Mangiapane put the visitors on the board just before the midway point and Lindholm notched a power-play marker at the 5:03 mark of the third period to make it a 3-2 affair. But Puljujarvi quashed Calgary’s comeback hopes when he scored 26 seconds later and restored the two-goal edge.

Of Puljujarvi’s 34 career goals, eight have come against Calgary.

McDavid’s empty netter with 97 seconds remaining in regulation iced the affair.

The Edmonton captain, who won the league scoring race last year for the third time in five seasons, has netted 26 goals in 31 career games against Calgary — which is a more prolific pace than the great Wayne Gretzky achieved against the Flames during his Hall of Fame career. McDavid’s three hat tricks against the Flames also matches an Oilers record.

Draisaitl’s trio of helpers give him 41 points in 35 career clashes with Calgary.

–Field Level Media