SUN Hockey Pool

Men with hat-tricks

Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Smyth celebrates his hat-trick against the San Jose Sharks during third...

Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Smyth celebrates his hat-trick against the San Jose Sharks during third period action at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Thursday. (Edmonton Sun/Jason Franson)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

The only things missing were a steak on the ice and Rexall Place taking over O Canada from Paul Lorieau.

Everything else was straight from the 2006 playoff playbook.

STUMBLE AROUND

Fall behind early. Look like crud doing it. Stumble around like you don't even belong on the same ice as San Jose. And just when all seems lost, launch a thrilling, improbable comeback that sends chills up the spines of everyone in the place.

Last night's 6-4 victory, pulled from the wreckage of a 4-1 deficit, was last spring all over again.

It was wild.

Staring defeat in the face and looking very much like the pretenders much of the hockey world believes them to be, the Oilers got their ship together just in time to lay a little deja vu on the bewildered and previously undefeated Sharks.

Thanks to Ryan Smyth.

The never-say-die winger scored three goals in 2:01 of the third period, breaking Wayne Gretzky's seemingly unbreakable record of 2:18.

With everyone in the place clearing their throats for the chorus of post-game boos they were going to rain down on the lethargic hosts, Smyth scored at 4:05 on a two-man advantage, 4:14 with a one-man advantage and 6:06 at even strength.

Then Ales Hemsky, after serving his fourth penalty of the game, cleared his name before he even got to the bench, stepping out of the box to score the insurance goal at 15:18.

Up until that point, the Oilers had been doing everything in their power to give this one away.

They took a steady stream penalties, made countless giveaways and penalty killing that had held the Calgary Flames to 0-for-15 in two games, got totally lit up. Making a simple 20-foot pass seemed outside their feeble grasp.

Patrick Thoresen's first goal in the NHL got them off to a decent start at 3:20, but three minutes later Jonathan Cheechoo shut the place up with a wicked one-timer from point blank range that Dwayne Roloson wouldn't have been able to see on slow motion replay.

Two minutes after that, with San Jose on a two-man advantage, Cheechoo put another close-range laser beam past Roloson to give the Sharks, who were outshot 14-7, a 2-1 lead at the intermission.

Cheechoo completed the natural hat-trick 6:52 into the second period, again on the power play and again with time and space in the slot.

From there, it went from bad to worse. Edmonton took a bench minor for too many men on the ice at 8:03, Ales Hemsky took another minor for griping about it and the Sharks, already two-for-five on the power play, had a two-man advantage for the full two minutes.

Guess what happened.

NOT ROLOSON'S FAULT

Milan Michalek capped a three-on-one break and the rout was on. San Jose scored four goals on their first 13 shots, but you couldn't fault Roloson on any of them. Discipline and defence, yes, Roloson, no.

Joffrey Lupul cut the lead to 4-2 with his second of the season at 12:00, but the way the Oilers were playing, their 4-2 deficit at the break seemed too much to overcome.

Turns out it wasn't.


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