It should have been a night to remember for Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers.
Despite the playoff phenom registering his first career four-goal postseason game, the Oilers still lost Game 1 to the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 6-4.
Draisaitl had two goals for the Oilers in the first period, but his team still trailed 3-2 after 20 minutes.
After a scoreless second period, Draisaitl’s hat trick goal on the power play tied the contest 3-3 early in the third period.
Leon Draisaitl has the second @Enterprise Hat Trick of his #StanleyCup Playoffs career (and has since added another tonight) and is now up to 11 GOALS during this postseason! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/HoShJ1hIkJ
— NHL (@NHL) May 4, 2023
However, quick goals from Ivan Barbashev and Chandler Stephenson just 2:01 after Draisaitl’s hat trick gave Vegas a 5-3 lead.
But, the hulking German centre wasn’t done there.
He registered his fourth goal of the game a few minutes later after burying a nice feed from Connor McDavid.
PLAYOFF LEON CANNOT BE STOPPED! 😤
Draisaitl pots his FOURTH of the game and the Oilers are down by one. pic.twitter.com/VFgK5OQekY
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 4, 2023
Even though Draisaitl scored four times, his heroics still weren’t enough.
The Oilers couldn’t bury the game-tying goal, and now trail their series against Vegas 1-0 as Jack Eichel added a late empty-netter for the home side to seal the victory.
Michael Amadio and Mark Stone scored the other goals for Vegas.
Game 2 will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas on Saturday at 5:00 pm MDT.
It was a historic night for Draisaitl, who became the first Oilers player to score four goals in a postseason game since Jarri Kurri did so in 1987.
Leon Draisaitl tonight… pic.twitter.com/oOPwkdQAHw
— Chris Conte (@ChrisConte79) May 4, 2023
Statistically, he’s also the highest scoring playoff performer on a point-per-game basis (minimum 10 games played), aside from Wayne Gretzky.
After his four-goal performance tonight, Draisaitl has already boosted his pace to 1.68 playoff points per game.
He currently leads all NHLers with 11 playoff goals in seven games. The next closest player is Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen with seven goals, and he’s no longer in the playoffs after the Avalanche were eliminated by the Seattle Kraken.
Leon Draisaitl is two goals away from tying the leading goal scorer from last year's entire playoffs. It's the first game of the second round
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 4, 2023
Speaking of those Avalanche, the Oilers can take a lesson away from Colorado’s postseason failures against Seattle.
The Avalanche lost because they lacked contributions from almost everyone aside from their stars.
Edmonton will need similar contributions from depth players – much like Klim Kostin provided for them in the first round – if they want to return to the Conference Finals for the second straight season.
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