MacKenzie Weegar's hat trick leads Flames past Islanders
Posted on: 11 Feb, 2024 at 04:26 AM
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
MacKenzie Weegar collected his first career hat trick and the visiting Calgary Flames beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Saturday in Elmont, N.Y., to run their winning streak to four games.
Weegar's trio of tallies gives him 15 this season, most among NHL defensemen. His previous career high was eight, set two seasons ago while with the Florida Panthers.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Blake Coleman each collected one goal and one assist, and goaltender Jacob Markstrom sparkled with 35 saves, 16 of them in the third period. Markstrom added an assist, giving him four this season -- most among NHL goaltenders.
Brock Nelson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Islanders, who saw their two-game winning streak snapped. Goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 19 shots.
The Islanders had the very early push, but Weegar opened the scoring at 3:47 of the first period. Taking advantage of New York's defenders backing too far into the zone, Weegar sent a wrist shot from the right face-off dot that Varlamov missed with his glove.
Huberdeau's power-play goal at 8:38 of the second period doubled the lead. Yegor Sharangovich's one-timer was stopped, but Huberdeau pounced on the rebound for his eighth goal of the campaign.
Weegar's second of the game -- at 15:16 of the second period -- gave the Flames a 3-0 lead. With Calgary taking advantage of strong forechecking, the puck came to Weegar in the high slot and he blasted a shot home.
Nelson finally solved Markstrom at four minutes of the third period when his long shot through the screen put the hosts on the board, his 22nd of the season.
However, Coleman (with his 21st goal of the season) and Weegar each scored empty-net goals in the waning moments. Those scores bookended Pageau's seventh goal of the season during a wild scramble after Markstrom fanned on an attempt to score into an empty net at the other end.
The Islanders fell to 3-3-1 since Patrick Roy took over as head coach.
--Field Level Media