The only player still around from that Jan. 10, 2006, game where Shawn Horcoff got his one and only NHL hat-trick, with all three Oiler goals in a 3-1 win, is Sidney Crosby who was a teenager on that night when his coach Michel Therrien offered up his famous post-game rant calling his team soft, with very little pulse.
In this one, Crosby, now 34, was going head-to-head with Connor McDavid. Two stars colliding, along with Mike Smith vs Casey DeSmith in net, so another wordy parlay as the Oilers were faster and way more dangerous (especially No. 97) throughout in a 5-1 win to clinch home-ice in the first round of the playoffs against most-likely Los Angeles.
McDavid had an instant replay of his Dec. 1 game in Edmonton, when he had a goal and three helpers in their 5-2 victory. In this one he set up three by Evan Bouchard, Evander Kane and a power play score by Zach Hyman before lifting one of his own on the PP over DeSmith — two power play goals against the best PK in the league that had only given up 29 PP goals in 80 previous games. He wasn’t in on Zack Kassian’s into the empty net to finish it off a little after Smith’s 195-footer curled nine inches wide of the cage — good draw weight but needed some sweeping to keep it on line.