It's not all that often that a player can double their goal total for the season in a game halfway through the campaign, but that is what Mikkel Boedker accomplished on Tuesday.
Boedker recorded a hat trick to jump from three goals to six on the season as the visiting San Jose Sharks won their second game in a row, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-3.
"A game like that, when you score on your first shift, you're going to feel good the whole game. They came my way today. Three good goals," Boedker said. "After struggling and not producing you always feel pressure. Now you have to expect to go out and do the things I'm relied on to do."
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said getting the 27-year-old going again will be key to his team's second half success.
"That's what we need from him," he said. "He was playing well before Christmas and we knew these types of games were coming. He's in for a big second half, and we need him."
Brent Burns and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks (25-14-2), who had lost three straight before getting back in the win column.
Drake Caggiula, Matthew Benning and Oscar Klefbom replied for the Oilers (21-15-7), who have lost two straight.
"We showed some life at the start of the third, but it is hard to battle back from a three-goal deficit, especially against a good veteran team like that," said Oilers forward Milan Lucic. "We have lots to learn from this game. You can't play a period or half a game. You have to be ready to play from the drop of the puck."
Boedker completes hat trick quickly
The Sharks surfaced with a 1-0 lead just 1:39 into the opening period as Boedker got to a rebound and lifted the puck over sprawling Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, making his NHL-leading 38th start of the season.
Caggiula tied it up for Edmonton with four minutes left in the first. He fought off a pair of Sharks defenders at the side of the net before hooking a backhand shot past goalie Martin Jones.
San Jose made it 2-1 with 18 seconds left in the first period as a Burns point shot seemed to deflect in on its way through traffic, giving the veteran defenceman his 16th goal of the season.
The Sharks took a two-goal lead early in the second period after a giveaway eventually allowed Boedker to score his second of the game and fifth of the season.
Boedker completed his hat trick nine minutes into the second on a tip in front. It was his fourth career hat trick, and the second he has recorded against Edmonton.
Benning scored his second career goal as the Oilers cut back into the lead 22 seconds into the third period.
The comeback continued 3:45 into the third, as Klefbom blasted a shot past Jones off of the faceoff.
Couture made it 5-3 for the Sharks just over a minute later, as the rebound of his own shot go off his leg and in while crashing the net.
The Sharks return to action on Wednesday in Calgary, while Edmonton next welcomes Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, the second game of a six-game homestand.