Hindsight is always 20/20 but it sure seems like history is on the side of the Edmonton Oilers when it comes to picking winners and losers in the Milan Lucic-James Neal trade.
James Neal collected a natural hat trick in a span of less than nine minutes bridging the first and second periods and finished with a career-high four goals Tuesday night as the Edmonton Oilers cruised to a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y.
Neal's performance gives him six goals just three games into the season.
Neal is only one goal away from equalling his total of seven snipes netted during a awful season in Calgary.
The Oilers are now 3-0 to start a season for the first time since 2008-09.
Matt Martin got one back for the Islanders.
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Beauvillier gave the Islanders a short-lived lead by scoring a breakaway short-handed goal with 5:46 left in the first period. Edmonton scored twice in the final 2:07 of the first to take the lead, and then padded it with two more in the second.
Neal finished off his big night at 6:51 of the third for his sixth of the season to make it 5-1.
Just 3:39 after taking the 1-0 lead, Neal forced an Islanders turnover deep in their defensive zone.
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. He has seven assists and eight points this season.
Edmonton tied the game back up five minutes into the third as Gaetan Haas banked a pass off the side of the net to Nygard for his first career National Hockey League goal. Neal, standing to the right side of the net in front of the goal line, got a pass from McDavid and quickly put it past Varlamov with 30.3 seconds to go in the first.
The Kings got a gift goal of their own three minutes later as Edmonton goalie Mike Smith got caught wandering and coughed the puck up to Kopitar, who sent it to Brown to deposit into the empty net.