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In keeping with hockey tradition
DENVER (AP) —  Nick Jensen Jersey , a tip of the cap to honor Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine .They’ve each recorded a hat trick of hat tricks this season.Easy as one, two, three. Or so it may seem.Around the league, there have been 61 hat tricks through the first 770 games of the season — the most since 1995-96 (62), according to research by the NHL stats and information department. Leading the surge are Ovechkin of Washington and Laine of Winnipeg with three each.Hold on to your hat, there’s more: There has been at least one three-goal scorer in 10 of the 13 days leading into to the All-Star break.“I think the reason why,” Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen succinctly surmised, “is because scoring around the league is up.”Simple, yes. But on target, too.There have been 132 instances of a team scoring six or more goals in a game so far, which is the most since 2005-06. Teams are averaging 3.03 goals per game, which is on pace for the highest-scoring season since the 3.14 in, you guessed it, 1995-96. There has been an 18 percent increase in scoring since the post-expansion low of 2.57 goals per game for teams in 2003-04, before a lockout led to rule changes.Naturally Thomas Vanek Jersey , hat tricks figure to go hand-in-hand with the escalation.“It’s exciting and not something everyone has done,” said Nashville forward Austin Watson , who had his first NHL hat trick on Nov. 25 against Anaheim. “It’s a cool achievement.”Long associated with cricket and soccer, the term hat trick appears to have made its way into the mainstream hockey vernacular when a Toronto businessman offered a hat to any player who scored three goals during an NHL game while visiting his town. As the legend goes, Chicago forward Alex Kaleta went into the shop in 1946 and found a fedora he fancied, according to an NHL.com story . Only, he didn’t have the funds to purchase it. The business owner offered to give it to Kaleta free of charge should he score three goals against the Maple Leafs.Kaleta had four. Presto, a hat trick.These days, hat tricks come in a variety of forms. There’s the natural one (three straight goals by a player), traditional (any three goals, sometimes culminating with a late empty-netter) and of course the “Gordie Howe” (a goal, assist and a fight).The achievement of a hat trick has long been celebrated with fans tossing their hats on the ice. Ever wonder where all those hats go? The Avs, for one, donate the caps to the Denver Rescue Mission.The fastest NHL hat trick took just 21 seconds by Chicago’s Bill Mosienko (1952). The most in a career? Wayne Gretzky, who had 50. Ovechkin has the most of any active player with 23.They’re far from common — this year’s total of 61 so far is just 8 percent of all games. The Great One needed 1 Womens Adam Larsson Jersey ,487 games to get his 50.All the increased scoring means the feat may someday lose a bit of its luster. But not yet.“It’s a pretty hard thing to do,” said Minnesota forward Jason Zucker, who had a hat trick on Nov. 9, 2017. “Scoring any goal in this league is a hard thing to do. To do three in one game is pretty incredible.”Ovechkin had two in a four-day window this season, while Laine had a pair over a six-day span, including a five-goal game on Nov. 24.Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog gave his first hat trick on Nov. 11, 2017, against Washington the royal treatment. He has the puck in a case with the game sheet and a picture. He said he doesn’t have his puck from the second one, which happened a month later.“I don’t think guys are going out there trying to score hat tricks,” the All-Star Landeskog said. “Guys are going out there trying to help the team win.”As for why there are so many hat tricks this season, Zucker has a simple deduction.“It’s the speed. It’s the skill. It’s the sticks, the way guys shoot pucks now,” Zucker explained. “Guys don’t even have to try to shoot pucks — the sticks do a lot of the work for us.”No need to convince Minnesota’s All-Star goaltender Devan Dubnyk of that.“Teams are discovering ways to create chances and figure how pucks actually go in the net and not just thinking if you throw 50 pucks at the net that you’re going to score a bunch of goals,” Dubnyk said. “It’s understanding how to create offense. You can see it throughout the league this year. There’s a lot of offensive creativity and it’s making it tough for defenses and tough for goalies.” RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers just kept throwing the puck on net over and over. It was a sound strategy Cam Talbot Jersey , considering just about every shot they took seemed to be going in.Draisaitl had a goal and three assists and the Oilers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-3 on Tuesday night.Drake Caggiula, Matt Benning and Ryan Strome scored in a span of 4:24 in the first period after Carolina jumped to a 1-0 lead, and Edmonton led the rest of the way. Pontus Aberg, Yohann Auvitu and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored as the Oilers got six goals on their first 22 shots. Cam Talbot made 30 saves for Edmonton.”We started well and that gave us confidence,” Draisaitl said. ”We kept going after them. Kept shooting the puck, kept getting the puck back. That was our game plan.”Brock McGinn, Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost six of eight. Scott Darling allowed three goals on his first nine shots and six on 22 but was left in the game. He finished with 23 saves.As the final buzzer sounded, the Hurricanes were booed off the ice by the sparse group of fans still in the stands.”We have to come to work,” Carolina forward Jordan Staal said. ”We play in the NHL. We have this privilege to be here. We can’t lay eggs like that. We can’t just not work. It looks like that when we don’t and it’s no fun to play. It’s no fun to let each other down like that. ”The scoring began early in a wild, five-goal first period, including a few unusual tallies.McGinn opened the scoring with a no-look, through-the-legs backhand pass that was accidentally pushed in by Auvitu.Caggiula tied it 23 seconds after McGinn scored, and Benning gave the Oilers the lead with an extraordinary goal two minutes later. After his initial shot went off Darling’s leg pad and up onto the glass behind the net, Benning waited for the puck to come down Youth Darnell Nurse Jersey , swung his stick like a baseball bat, and hit the puck off Darling’s back and into the net.”I just kind of tried to wait until the puck came down so I didn’t get high sticking and then just tried to throw it at him,” Benning said. ”It’s just kind of reactionary.”Strome finished the burst with another atypical goal. Darling stopped Strome’s stuff attempt, but the puck wiggled free, and defenseman Justin Faulk pushed it into his own net.Aho kept the Hurricanes within one with a power-play goal late in the first, but the Oilers scored three times again in the second period to turn it into a rout.Just 1:32 into the period, Faulk inexplicably backhanded a no-look pass from the corner to the front of his own net. Draisatl took the free puck and sent a pass to Aberg, who buried it along the inside post for his first goal as an Oilier since being acquired at the trade deadline.”We weren’t playing good from the start right through the end,” Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal said. ”It wasn’t a good effort from anybody.”Auvitu got in on the scoring midway through the second when he finished a 3-on-2 rush with a wrist shot past Darling’s glove, and Draisatl joined the party with a one-timer from the right faceoff circle, his 23rd this season. Puljujarvi provided the finishing touch when he gathered his own rebound and pushed a backhander through Darling’s legs.Carolina is still technically alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but its hopes are dwindling. The Hurricanes are nine points back with nine games to play.NOTESDraisaitl surpassed 200 career points. … Aberg also had two assists for his first career three-point game. .Aho and Teravainen extended their point streaks to six games. … Oilers F Connor McDavid played in his 200th NHL game. … Hurricanes D Noah Hanifin missed his second straight game with a concussion. … Oilers D Andrej Sekera and F Zack Kassian both missed the game with undisclosed injuries.UP NEXTOilers: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.Hurricanes: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.—

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