Saturday, 06 June, 2020

Real Deal indeed! James Neal leads Edmonton Oilers past Islanders

James Neal James Neal The Canadian Press
Cary Erickson | 12 October, 2019, 06:30

James Neal is looking quite comfortable in blue and orange.

Both teams are off until Tuesday when the Oilers begin a four-game road trip in NY against the Islanders and the Kings face the Flames in Calgary.

Neal completed his natural hat trick with two power-play goals.

Neal scored his first three goals in just 8:38 of game time. After being acquired in exchange for Milan Lucic, Neal's arrival in Edmonton sparked worries that he was no longer a reliable 20+ goal-scorer, but Neal appears rejuvenated playing in a new system under head coach Dave Tippett.

The Islanders would strike first, as Anthony Beauvillier scored his second of the season 14:14 into the first period. Semyon Varlamov started and was pulled in the second period after giving up four goals on 19 shots.

Beauvillier got the Islanders on the scoreboard first with a short-handed goal late in the opening period.

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Just 3:39 after taking the 1-0 lead, Neal forced an Islanders turnover deep in their defensive zone.

Neal finished off his big night at 6:51 of the third for his sixth of the season to make it 5-1.

With the Islanders trailing 2-1 after 20 minutes, Beauvillier almost tied it three minutes into the middle period, but his shot was stopped by Koskinen.

Neal is the second player to score four goals this season, joining Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha's October 6 performance. Thomas Greiss came on and stopped seven of the eight shots he faced.

McDavid got it started going cross-ice to Leon Draisaitl, who quickly put a hard pass on the tape of Neal who tipped it past Varlamov on the doorstep for the 3-1 lead.