March 30, 2019— Hat Trick Against the Edmonton Oilers
There seems to be something about the Edmonton Oilers that sparks a competitive spirit in Rickard Rakell. In his five seasons playing full time in the NHL, he has only scored two hat tricks, and both have been against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.
On March 30, 2019, the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers met for their final contest of a 4 game regular-season series. The two teams had met three times already, the Anaheim Ducks down in the series 2-1, with one more game to possibly tie it up.
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There wasn’t a lot of action in the first period, John Gibson standing tall for the Ducks, per usual. Mikko Koskinen wasn’t letting anything by him either, robbing both Rickard Rakell and Sam Steel of two beautiful chances. Nevertheless, he began to crack under the pressure when Corey Perry flipped the puck into the net off a pass from Adam Henrique. The score was 1-0 as the first intermission began.
Going into the middle period, it was still anyone’s game. In an attempt to get the puck closer to the net, Rakell loses the puck to the Oilers, who try to clear it out of the zone. Jakob Silfverberg picks it up, keeping it in the zone and musters up the strength to get the pass back to RR67. There was no mistake this time, as he snapped the puck, top corner, past Koskinen. Less than two minutes into the second, Rakell pots his first goal of the night and 16th of the season, giving the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
Keeping the momentum going, Rickard Rakell scored his second goal of the night just seven minutes later. The Edmonton Oilers turn over the puck, and the Ducks turn up the pressure, staying on top of it at all costs. Hampus Lindholm gains possession at the point and passes it to Korbinian Holzer, who, as he skates forward, is in a prime position to get the puck to Rakell who is right in front of the net. Without hesitation, Rakell catches Koskinen slightly out of position and backhands the puck into the net.
With two goals registered on the evening, Rakell was officially on hat trick watch. The passion he exuded during the second period was enough proof that he would finish before the night ended. Nevertheless, it was, again, just seven minutes later that he would finish the second natural hat trick of his career.
The Anaheim Ducks were determined to get another goal in the net before the period ended. Lindholm put the puck on Silfverberg’s tape as he crossed the blueline. Rakell assumed his position right outside the dot, receiving a beautiful pass from his teammate. Koskinen could have easily made the save. Fortunately, however, he gave up just a little too much room, allowing Rakell to wire the puck home with ease.
This led to a goalie change for the Oilers, who would eventually score two goals before the game ended. Before the night was done, Devin Shore would score the Anaheim Ducks fifth goal, Rickard Rakell leading his team to a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Unfortunately, we can’t fit all of Rickard Rakell’s best moments into one article. Did your favorite Rickard Rakell moment from the 2018-19 season make it on our list? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!