Kane scores 3 as Oilers beat Avs 6-3, clinch playoff spot

EDMONTON, Alberta — Evander Kane had three objectives and an help, Connor McDavid had three assists and the Edmonton Oilers clinched a playoff berth with a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night time.

Evan Bouchard, Kailer Yamamoto and Kris Russell additionally scored for the Oilers, who’ve gained 4 in a row and improved to 12-0-1 of their final 13 video games on dwelling ice. Mike Smith had 34 saves.

“It was a game where we wanted to make a statement and keep the mojo going at home here, and clinch a playoff spot,” Smith mentioned Smith. “When you’re playing against the best teams in the league, you want to bring your game to the level that we are capable of.”

Kane now has 20 objectives in 39 video games since becoming a member of the Oilers mid-season.

“Any time you join a team halfway through the season, it’s going to take you more than a couple of games to really get your game to where it was maybe the previous year,” he mentioned. “I’m continuing to develop some chemistry with my linemates. That takes a little bit of time, but I really like where things are at right now and I’ll just try to keep building on that.”

Valeri Nichushkin had two objectives and Nathan MacKinnon additionally scored for the Western Conference-leading Avalanche. Darcy Kuemper completed with 21 saves. Colorado has dropped three in a row and misplaced for simply the second time this season when main after the primary interval.

“I think we had a handful of guys playing hard and playing the right way and a bunch of guys that weren’t,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar mentioned. “If it continues, it’ll be a concern. It takes a long time to build the right habit and the right mentality and the basis of your play in order to win hockey games on a regular basis and it can disappear in a flash. We certainly don’t want to be letting this linger.”

Colorado began the scoring about eight minutes into the opening interval on a 3-on-1 break, as a trailing Nichushkin took a move from Bowen Byram and beat Smith.

Edmonton’s penalty kill delivered by stopping a prolonged 5-on-3 benefit to start out the second interval. Momentum shifted the Oilers’ approach consequently, with McDavid dropping a move to Kane, who swung behind the web and caught Kuemper out of place on a wraparound.

The Oilers took the lead simply 1:22 later as Bouchard’s shot went excessive off the boards and off the highest of the web earlier than he adopted up his personal shot and batted it in.

However, simply 15 seconds later, Nichushkin scored his second of the sport and twenty fourth of the season on a wrist shot that beat Smith on the stick facet.

Edmonton made it 3-2 eight minutes into the second as Duncan Keith discovered Kane along with the web.

Kane recorded his fourth profession hat trick with 5:46 left within the second interval as he made a pleasant deke earlier than his shot trickled over the road for his twentieth purpose in 39 video games this season.

Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse left the sport with an obvious leg harm late within the second and didn’t return.

Edmonton padded its lead with 9 minutes remaining as Yamamoto scored on a backhand spin-o-rama. McDavid’s help on the play gave him a league-leading 116 factors on the season, matching a profession excessive.

MacKinnon obtained a late purpose for the Avs with their goalie on the bench. Russell iced it with an empty-net purpose 27 seconds later.

“In a perfect world we would have liked for our season to have been a little more even-keeled, probably,” Oilers ahead Leon Draisaitl mentioned. “But sometimes that is the way it goes. At the end of the day we are in. That is all that matters. That was goal No. 1. We are happy about that and proud of ourselves, but we are long from done.”

NOTES: Oilers ahead Jesse Puljujarvi missed the sport with an sickness. … Colorado was with out Gabriel Landeskog (decrease physique), Ryan Murray (higher physique), Devon Toews (undisclosed), Mikko Rantanen (sickness) and Erik Johnson (undisclosed). Andrew Cogliano returned after lacking two video games with an undisclosed harm. … Avs backup goalie Pavel Francouz obtained hit by a puck on the bench early within the first interval and left the sport. University of Alberta goalie Matt Berlin was referred to as upon to take his place on an emergency foundation.


Avalanche: At Winnipeg on Sunday.

Oilers: At Columbus on Sunday to open a two-game journey.


ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kirill Kaprizov had a purpose and three assists to change into the primary participant in Minnesota franchise historical past with no less than 100 factors in a season, and the Wild established 4 franchise information and tied one other in beating Seattle.

Joel Eriksson Ek had two objectives and an help, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Hartman and Nicolas Deslauriers additionally scored, and Kevin Fiala had a team-record 5 assists for Minnesota, which additionally established all-time bests with its fiftieth win and 107 factors.

Marc-Andre Fleury overcame an early gaffe and had 25 saves to enhance to 7-1-0 since being acquired from Chicago on the commerce deadline.

Daniel Sprong and Yanni Gourde scored early for Seattle, which noticed its season-high three game-winning streak finish. Philipp Grubauer completed with 29 saves. Matty Beniers additionally scored for the Kraken to change into the primary rookie to start his NHL profession with factors in 5 consecutive video games since New Jersey’s Ty Smith Jan. 14-24, 2021.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tim Stutzle scored within the shootout to elevate Ottawa to its second straight street win.

Brady Tkachuk additionally scored and Filip Gustavsson stopped 33 photographs for the Senators in his first profession shootout win.

Jack Roslovic had Columbus’ purpose and Elvis Merzlikins had 25 saves within the Blue Jackets’ fourth straight loss (0-3-1).


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Conor Sheary scored within the first interval and Vitek Vanecek obtained his fourth shutout of the season as Washington obtained its seventh win in 9 video games.

John Carlson scored his sixteenth into an empty internet with 25 seconds remaining. Vanecek stopped 19 photographs for his seventh profession shutout and twentieth victory of the season. The Capitals pulled even with Pittsburgh for third place within the Metropolitan Division with 99 factors.

Karel Vejmelka had 27 saves for the Coyotes, who’ve misplaced 9 straight (0-8-1).

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