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Ryan Smyth's natural hat trick powers Oilers past Sharks 6-4

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The hurried hat trick broke Wayne Gretzky's Oilers record for fastest three goals of 2:18 and also pushed Smyth over the 500-point mark in his NHL career. San Jose was comfortably ahead 4-2 to start the third period before Kyle McLaren took a pair of penalties. Smyth scored on both power plays, just 19 seconds apart. He then added the game winner for his fifth career hat trick and fourth point of the night.

The last minute heroics spoiled a hat trick by San Jose's Jonathan Cheechoo and the Sharks attempts to gain a measure of revenge for being ousted by the Oilers in the second round of last season's playoffs.

The Oilers move to 2-1 on the season while the Sharks drop to 3-1 in a game where they looked like they would have their first 4-0 start to the season in franchise history.

The Oilers struck first, just three minutes into the first period, when a bouncing puck pinballed past San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Rookie Patrick Thoresen was credited with his first career regular season goal to give Edmonton the early lead.

But San Jose was quick to respond three minutes later when Jonathan Cheechoo put a blistering shot from the slot past Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson to tie the game 1-1.

Less than two minutes later, Cheechoo scored his second of the game on a two-man advantage to put the Sharks ahead 2-1 after the first.

Cheechoo continued to be the trigger-man for the Sharks in the second as well, scoring his hat trick goal on the power play just over six minutes into the frame.

The Oilers got themselves into penalty trouble again just a couple minutes later, giving the Sharks another two-man advantage and once again they capitalized as Milan Michalek notched his fourth of the year.

Edmonton cut the Sharks' edge to 4-2 with eight minutes remaining in the second. Joffrey Lupul picked up a big rebound on a Smyth shot and found the back of the net.

After Smyth's hat trick Ales Hemsky added an insurance goal with at 15:28 to make it 6-4.

The Sharks head to Vancouver for a game on Friday night while the Oilers now travel to Colorado to play the Avalanche on Saturday.

Notes: It was the first time the two teams have met since the Oilers defeated the Sharks four games to two in the second round of the playoffs. San Jose held a 2-0 series lead before the Oilers came roaring back to win four in a row to take the series in six games. . . . The Sharks had only allowed one power-play goal against in 18 opportunities before Thursday. . . . Prior to heading to Edmonton from Calgary the Sharks stopped off in Banff, Alta., where coach Ron Wilson introduced the team to curling.

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