EDMONTON - Earlier in the contest, Raffi Torres had the hat-trick on his stick and must have undoubtedly wondered if any caps would rain down on the ice had he scored.
In the third period, the former Edmonton Oilers forward got his answer.
On Tuesday, Torres scored three goals to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 victory over the Oilers at Rexall Place and in the process collecting a handful of new caps.
“Obviously having played here, it’s obviously nice, but overall, it’s nice to get that win for sure, because it was our first road win,” said Torres. “Being a new guy on the team, anytime you can help out in any way possible it’s good.
“I’m just trying to keep my game simple so it’s nice to get rewarded.”
Prior to netting his third goal, with two already in his pocket, Torres found himself with an open lane and fired a shot towards the corner of the net, which Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin just got a piece of with his blocker.
It was a better opportunity than the one which did go in for his third, drifting a backhander towards the net that fooled Khabibulin to break a 3-3 tie in the third period.
Torres scored twice in the first, diving in order to an rebound off the end boards first to chip it past Khabibulin, then redirecting a point-shot past the Oilers goaltender.
“I didn’t even see it (the third goal) go in,” Torres said. “But management has been saying to me to just get the puck on net, especially after I had passed that one to nobody at the point in the second. I guess I got lucky.”
Torres, 29, is the latest former Oiler to stick it to his old team. Earlier this season, Marty Reasoner scored a pair of goals for the Florida Panthers against the Oilers.
Torres spent four years with the Oilers before being traded to the Columbus Blue Jacket for Gilbert Brule following the 2007-2008 season.
This off-season, he signed a one-year free agent contract with the Canucks. He came into the contest with three goals and an assist in 10 games.
“I had a lot of good times here in Edmonton, this franchise was nothing but good to me,” Torres said. “It was one of those things that if you don’t produce, then they have to make changes.
“It’s a nice feeling for me, but the win is more important right now.”