Evander Kane scored three goals in the second period and added an assist as the host Edmonton Oilers beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 on Friday night to clinch a playoff berth.
Kailer Yamamoto and Kris Russell had a goal and an assist each, Evan Bouchard contributed a goal and Connor McDavid had three assists for Edmonton (46-26-6, 98 points). Oilers goalie Mike Smith stopped 34 shots.
The Oilers posted their fourth straight win and moved four points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for second place in the Pacific Division.
Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist, Andre Burakovsky notched two assists and Darcy Kuemper made 21 saves for the Avalanche (55-17-6, 116 points).
Colorado, which played its second straight game without leading scorer Mikko Rantanen (non-COVID illness), has lost three in a row for the first time since Oct. 16-21.
The Avalanche went ahead 1-0 on Nichushkin’s first goal of the game at 8:29 of the first period, but then Edmonton came on.
Kane tied it at 2:41 of the second when he scored on a wraparound, and 1:22 later Bouchard gave the Oilers the lead. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ shot went off the backboards and bounced back over the crossbar, and Bouchard knocked it in out of mid-air. It was his 11th goal of the season.
Nichushkin got his second of the game and 24th of the season 15 seconds after Bouchard scored.
Kane put Edmonton back in front when Duncan Keith sent him a pass to the right side of the crease and Kane buried it at 8:19. He completed the hat trick at 14:20 when his shot on net trickled off Kuemper and went just over the line to make it 4-2.
It was his 20th of the season and completed his fourth career hat trick.
Yamamoto padded the lead when he scored his 19th of the season at 10:45 of the third. MacKinnon’s 32nd of the campaign at 18:20 made it 5-3, but Russell sealed it with an empty net goal 27 seconds later. It was his second of the season.
–Field Level Media
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