Marian Gaborik’s hat trick powers Rangers past Oilers 8-2

A day after Ray Whitney scored his first goal(s) of the season via a hat trick, Marian Gaborik did just the same … and he didn’t even need an empty net to earn his third one. As you can see from the video, Gaborik scored one somewhat ugly goal to start things off and then capped his night with two beautiful breakaways to earn the hat trick. He also had an assist, giving him an excellent four-point day.

Gaborik wasn’t the only New York Ranger who stood out in the team’s beating of the woeful Edmonton Oilers, though.

NY Rangers 8, Edmonton 2

Alex Frolov also produced four points in this game, scoring two goals and two assists. Artem Anisimov and Ruslan Fedetenko also scored goals for the Rangers this afternoon.

Amazingly enough, the Oilers actually had a 2-1 lead at one point in the game. After giving up Gaborik’s first goal, Ryan Jones and Shawn Horcoff scored for Edmonton. That one ray of light must be hard to remember after allowing seven unanswered goals, though.

The Oilers have just been atrocious on defense and in net, most disturbingly with Nikolai Khabibulin between the pipes. He allowed 6, 7 and 8 goals in his last three games. Overall, the Oilers are 2-9-3 since starting the season 2-0. The only good news is that their five-game road trip is over.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are just plugging along. After dropping two games in a row, New York put together two straight wins. Martin Biron won those two games, although it’s probably important to note that those wings came against two of the worst teams in the league (Edmonton and Buffalo). Still, these small stretches are the reason you add a solid veteran like Biron.

No mic? No problem: Oilers fans sing American, Canadian national anthems

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There was apparently an issue with a microphone used for the national anthems prior to Game 3 between the Ducks and Oilers in Edmonton.

Canadian country music star Brett Kissel was supposed to perform the anthems, however, as he stepped up to the mic, he soon discovered that there seemed to be a malfunction.

With some quick encouragement from Kissel, fans at Rogers Place stole the show with stirring renditions of both the American and Canadian national anthems.

Here is the Star Spangled Banner:

Here is O Canada:

Sami Vatanen returns to Ducks lineup vs. Oilers

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Good news for the Anaheim Ducks, who trail the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 in their second round series.

Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen returns to the lineup Sunday for Game 3 — his first game since April 13, which was the opener of Anaheim’s first-round series with Calgary, because of an upper-body injury.

However, the Ducks will be without Kevin Bieksa, who is dealing with a lower-body injury.

Predators stifle Blues to take back series lead

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The Nashville Predators have snapped their one-game funk in these Stanley Cup playoffs, taking back the series lead over the St. Louis Blues.

For long stretches of Sunday’s contest, the Predators kept the puck away from and stifled the Blues, including a stretch of almost nine minutes at the beginning of the second period in which St. Louis failed to register a shot attempt.

The Predators’ 3-1 victory in Game 3 was eventually secured on an unbelievably dominant shift late in the third period.

Joel Edmundson‘s (costly) turnover led to a dizzying attack from Predators, who had sustained puck possession inside the St. Louis zone for about 1:10.

By the end, Edmundson and Colton Parayko had exhausted themselves as the Predators tossed the puck around with increasing ease before Roman Josi halted the madness with a slap shot to the top corner, giving Nashville a two-goal lead.

That continues an impressive trend for the Predators.

They have scored nine goals in this series, with at least one defenseman contributing directly with either a goal or an assist on eight of those goals. Nashville’s group of blueliners — including Ryan Ellis, who has been on quite a productive roll throughout these playoffs — have combined for 11 points through three games in this series.

This series resumes Tuesday in Nashville, with the Predators leading 2-1.

VIDEO: Ryan Ellis continues his incredible postseason run for Predators

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Playing in Nashville over the years it has been easy for Ryan Ellis to get overlooked, always playing in the shadow of bigger name stars on the team’s blue line.

Shea Weber (before he was traded). Roman Josi. P.K. Subban.

But Ellis has been a major part of the Predators’ blue line and he had a career-year in 2016-17, setting new personal bests in goals (16) and points (38) while matching his previous career high in assists (22).

He has continued that strong play in the postseason and is currently the team’s leading scorer after he netted his third goal of the playoffs (and eighth total point) on Sunday afternoon to give the Predators a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues.

You can see it in the video above.

After being held without a point in the Predators’ first playoff game, Ellis has now picked up at least one point in every playoff game since them and is now riding a six-game point streak.

The first half of Sunday’s game has been a defensive clinic by the Predators, by the way, limiting St. Louis to just 10 shots on goal through the first 34 minutes, and none through the first 14 minutes of the second period.

The Predators extended their lead to 2-0 in the second period when Cody McLeod deflected in his first goal of the playoffs to give the Predators some unexpected scoring depth. He had just five goals in 59 games during the regular season between the Predators and Colorado Avalanche.