It didn't take long for the Edmonton Oilers to announce they were serious about rejoining the hunt for a playoff spot. Taylor Hall had a hat trick as the Oilers scored early and often to make it three victories in a row for the first time this season, blowing past the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 on Saturday. Devan Dubnyk made 23 stops for his second shutout of the season and Ladislav Smid also scored for the Oilers (14-13-7), who have gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. Hall's third goal also set an Oiler record as the fastest hat trick to start a game at 7:53, beating a standard of 12:38 set by Wayne Gretzky in 1986. "It's a pretty special moment that I will never forget," Hall said. "Playing in an organization like this one, the records you are trying to break have been set by pretty legendary players." The Oilers are now in a four-team tie just one point back of eighth-seed St. Louis in the Western Conference playoff race. "We're a whole different team right now," said Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger. "You can see the dynamics of the group evolving these last 10 games and the confidence level going up. "The position we were in, almost out of it three games ago, and now we are right back at the line." Hall said it is great to see his team right in the thick of the battle for a playoff spot. "There are so many ups and down during the season and when the lows are really low you have to remember times like this," he said. "You just go on a bit of a tear and you never know what spot you could end up in. We're really excited to be playing meaningful games right now and we have to make use of them." The Canucks (19-10-6) meanwhile saw a six-game winning streak come to an end. "At the start of the game it just seemed like they were in fifth gear and we were in third gear," said Canucks goalie Cory Schneider, who was yanked after allowing two goals on the first two shots of the game. "I don't (know) the reason for that. It was an ugly first 10 minutes, but after that we had some push-back and settled the game down. Unfortunately the damage had been done already.
Hall breaks Gretzky hat trick record as Oilers dump Canucks
TSN | Mar 31