SEATTLE — Zach Hyman scored three goals in the first period and the Edmonton Oilers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Seattle Kraken on Saturday night.
Hyman finished the natural hat trick with 1:20 left in the first period when he came up with a loose puck in front of the net and hammered home his seventh goal of the season. It was Hyman’s first multi-goal game of the season and the second hat trick of his career.
“When things aren’t going well, you want to have a cushion and it makes everybody feel a little more comfortable,” Hyman said. “Today was a good day to get back in the win column and just breathe.”
It was the 10th time in Oilers franchise history that a player scored three goals in an opening period. Hyman became the second Oilers player with a natural hat trick in the first period, joining Wayne Gretzky who did it on Dec. 17, 1986.
“I have nothing but huge respect for Zach Hyman and the game he brings to the table every night,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said. “He was bound and determined to make sure we were coming out with a lead in that first period.”
Dylan Holloway also scored a first-period goal for the Oilers, and Stuart Skinner had 17 saves.
Jaden Schwartz scored a power-play goal for the Kraken with 17:36 left in the game. Schwartz has scored in four straight games and extended his career-best point streak to nine games.
“We weren’t desperate enough. We knew that they’re hungry for wins and we came out flat. We’ve done it a few times at home now,” Schwartz said. “Unacceptable. We’ve got to be way more aggressive, way more assertive and get to our game right away. We were too much standing around and watching. It just all around wasn’t good enough.”
Seattle starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer was pulled after allowing four goals on 17 shots in the first period. Joey Daccord came on for the final two periods and had nine saves. The Kraken were held to a season-low 18 shots.
Hyman opened the scoring midway through the first period with a backhand over the shoulder of Grubauer, after taking a pass from Evander Kane on the rush.
He picked up his second on a power play with 5:51 left in the first, knocking in a loose rebound after a shot from the point.
“Obviously anytime you can capitalize on those chances it’s fun,” Hyman said. “There were a lot of good bounces in the first.”
The Oilers took a 4-0 lead going into the first intermission when Holloway scored with 17.9 seconds left. Ryan McLeod’s shot went wide and bounced off the boards right to Holloway next to the net.
“It was a hard game to win,” Skinner said. “It was hard fought, and that’s what it takes to win in the NHL. We’ve just got to keep on doing that, keep on doing the things that are going to make us successful.”
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