Patrik Laine went more than a year between hat tricks, and still the 19-year-old Finnish star is on a remarkable pace.
Laine got his fourth hat trick and set a career high with his 38th goal, lifting the Winnipeg Jets over the New York Rangers 3-0 on Tuesday night.
The 19-year-old star had been the youngest ever with three hat tricks — getting there at 18 years, 302 days — but it had been over a year since his last three-goal game. He joins Jimmy Carson and Dale Hawerchuk as the only players with four hat tricks before turning 20.
For some teams, that’d be okay, but for a team that’s never finished higher than fifth in the West standings since Lillard was drafted, justification for the meeting suddenly makes more sense.
The current Blazers team has a slew of contracts — Evan Turner, Mo Harkless and Meyers Leonard are making over $38 million combined this season alone, and more in the seasons to come — that make it hard for the front office to find any flexibility.
So, while Lillard might have concerns, or even be frustrated, the current roster construct will have to do in the short term.
Thankfully for Lillard, the Blazers and their fans, that’s where CJ McCollum, and the awesome partnership the two have built, comes in.
Tampa Bay reached overtime for the sixth consecutive game, one shy of tying the NHL record set by Edmonton in 2004 and Toronto in 2009, according Elias Sports Bureau. The Lightning have a 5-0-1 record in that span.
Yanni Gourde finished with two goals and three points for the Lightning, who improved to 7-0-1 in the past eight games.
Nick Bjugstad recorded his first career hat trick and Aleksander Barkov had three assists. The Panthers had their six-game winning streak end but have recorded points in seven consecutive games. Florida trails Columbus by two points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with three Cheap Baseball Jerseys games in hand.
“Since I’ve been here that’s the best game I’ve seen Nick play,” Florida coach Bob Boughner said. “We needed a performance like that and down the stretch here we are going to need different guys Cheap Authentic Hockey Jerseys step up . and tonight he was that guy.”