Connor McDavid reminded everyone what the hype was about as he helped himself to five points in the Edmonton Oilers’ 5-2 win over Toronto on Thursday.
Last summer’s number one draft pick scored twice himself and had an assist on every goal in a Jordan Eberle hat-trick, his first in the NHL, on an action-packed night at Rexall Place.
“It’s pretty special, looking across and seeing that [Maple Leafs] logo during warm up kind of gave me the chills,” said McDavid, who is from Richmond Hill, Ontario and followed the Leafs growing up.
“So it was special to have a game like that against them. We needed this. There was a lot of pressure on us coming in.”
Alex Ovechkin also helped himself to as hat-trick – his 14th during a stunning NHL career – as the Washington Capitals strengthened their grip on the Metropolitan division with a 4-3 win at Minnesota.
There were goals galore at SAP Centre too, where the Calgary Flames blew a three-goal lead before sneaking past San Jose in a shootout to win 6-5.
Pacific leaders Los Angeles failed to fully capitalise on the Sharks’ defeat, as they became the latest side to fall to the streaking New York Islanders.
John Tavares had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who have now won three in a row, in a comfortable 5-2 success.
Elsewhere, The Boston Bruins rattled in three unanswered third-period goals en route to a 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets, while a Patrick Eaves hat-trick was the difference as Dallas downed Chicago 4-2 at United Centre.
Colorado ended a four-game losing streak as Blake Comeau scored the decisive goal in a 4-3 win over Ottawa Senators, and the Blue Jackets secured the same scoreline over the Anaheim Ducks thanks to a shootout.