Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Tkachuk leads the way with hat trick in Battle of Alberta series opener
By Mike Gould1 year ago
Calgary Flames forward @Matthew Tkachuk scored thrice on Wednesday to help power his team to a wild 9–6 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal playoff series.
Tkachuk, 24, scored Calgary’s sixth, eighth, and ninth goals in the win. He became only the sixth Flame to score a hat trick in the playoffs and the first since Theoren Fleury did so against the San Jose Sharks in 1995.
With the Flames already leading 5–2 midway through the second period, Tkachuk scored a power-play goal to put the Oilers down by four.
Standing in front of Oilers goaltender @Mikko Koskinen, Tkachuk batted home the rebound of a @Johnny Gaudreau shot to give the Flames a 6–2 cushion.
@Tyler Toffoli also assisted on Tkachuk’s second goal of the playoffs, which came at the 8:24 mark of the middle frame.
Tkachuk’s second goal came with a dash of controversy.
The winger had been sent to the penalty box alongside Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington and Oilers forward @Evander Kane at the 4:44 mark of the third period, with Tkachuk and Kane being called for roughing each other in a scrum.
As Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman later explained on Twitter, the Flames designated Tkachuk as the player to exit the penalty box first (instead of Kylington, whose infraction technically preceded Tkachuk’s in the flow of the game prior to the 4:44 mark).
Tkachuk did end up returning to action first — and quickly scored. Calgary’s No. 19 capitalized on a turnover by @Leon Draisaitl and beat Koskinen on a breakaway to give the Flames an 8–6 lead at the 8:55 mark of the final frame.
(No, the play was not offside. While the puck did exit the Oilers’ zone, it caromed back across the blue line off the skate of Edmonton forward @Jesse Puljujarvi. Good goal).
Tkachuk finished off the hat trick at the 17:49 mark of the third period, sliding the puck into Edmonton’s vacant net to make it a 9–6 game.
@Elias Lindholm and @Johnny Gaudreau assisted on Tkachuk’s fourth goal of the playoffs.
Tkachuk finished the night with three points (all goals), eight shots on goal, four penalty minutes, a plus-one rating, and 18:36 on the ice.
@Blake Coleman scored twice for the Flames in the win, with @Rasmus Andersson netting the deciding goal. Lindholm, @Andrew Mangiapane, and @Brett Ritchie also scored for Calgary; @Zach Hyman scored twice for Edmonton, with @Connor McDavid, @Leon Draisaitl, @Kailer Yamamoto, and @Evan Bouchard also finding the back of the net.
Despite an iffy second period, @Jacob Markstrom came away with the victory after making 22 saves on 28 shots. Koskinen stopped 32 of 37 shots in relief of @Mike Smith, who was pulled 6:05 into the game after allowing three goals on 10 shots.
Excited for Game 2? We sure are. The second edition of the 2022 Playoff Battle of Alberta will take place at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. MT.
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