A natural hat-trick by Evander Kane in six minutes, four assists by Leon Draisaitl, and a three-point night for Connor McDavid were enough to put the Calgary Flames away in Game 3 and give the Oilers a 2-1 series lead in front of their hometown fans at Rogers Place. Edmonton will try to have a repeat performance of their first 40 minutes in Game 4 and see if they can’t put a stranglehold on the series.

Related: Maple Leafs Sign Mark Giordano to Insanely Low 2-Yr Contract Extension

⭐️ Evander Kane (3 goals)
⭐️⭐️ Leon Draisaitl (4 assists)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Connor McDavid (3 assists)@Molson_Canadian | #LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/fEtIQINplR

— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) May 23, 2022

Mike Smith was also incredible. Head coach Jay Woodcroft said that the Oilers have a full belief in his ability and that any doubt was not coming from inside the organization. Smith has been tremendous, and he had a shutout through 40, then into a trip to concussion protocol when he was hit by Milan Lucic in the third period and forced to sit for 15 minutes. Calgary got a late one on Smith to ruin the shutout bid, but Smith got the win and elevated his play on Sunday to match the stars of the game who provided the offense.

The game got nasty after the hit by Lucic, who was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Calgary seemed to control the play to end the final frame and perhaps they’ll take that and use it in Game 4, but the Oilers were also playing to get out of the period, down a defenseman for much of it as Cody Ceci hurt his hand and only returned after missing a number of shifts. The trick for Calgary will be to build on that third period, while the Oilers will need to start the next game the same way they started this one.

Evander Kane hat-trick goal in Game 3 for the Edmonton Oilers

Jacob Markstrom was pulled after two periods, more a mercy pull than anything else. His numbers continue to be horrid against the Oilers, but to be fair, the pucks that got by him tonight were not his fault. Few goaltenders, if any, could have stopped the tap-ins and two-on-one plays that Kane was able to capitalize on to score three in short succession.

Zach Hyman was also his reliable self, scoring his fourth goal in three games and potting the first of the night. The Oilers are now 5-0 when they score first in these playoffs and he’s been a gamer at both ends of the ice, a couple of times holding onto the puck and making outrageous individual efforts to keep the momentum for the Oilers or a get a chance on net.

As for Connor McDavid, he is the first player in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs to open a postseason run with nine multi-point outings in his first 10 games played. His play tonight only hammered home the fact that what fans are watching right now is something special.

Next: Oilers’ Mikko Koskinen Rumored to Have Deal In Swiss League For Next Season

The post Oilers Dominate First Half Of Game 3: Take 2-1 Series Lead Over Flames appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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