American skill was on the ice big time on Thursday, as two United States born players registered hat tricks in National Hockey League regular season action. Anders Lee of Edina, Minnesota scored thrice as the New York Islanders defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 at the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, while Johnny Gaudreau of Salem, New Jersey scored thrice as the Calgary Flames defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta.
Lee registered his first career NHL hat trick. He put the Islanders up 3-0 on a goal from Canadians Adam Pelech of Toronto, Ontario, and Anthony Beauvillier of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec at 13:49 of the second period. That was followed by two third period goals to close out the scoring. Lee put the Islanders up 5-0 on a goal from Ryan Pulock of Dauphin, Manitoba, and Beauvillier, at 11:57 of the third period, and then closed out the scoring with a power-play goal with two seconds left in regulation from Sebastian Aho of Umea, Sweden, and Beauvillier.
Lee now has 19 goals and seven assists for 26 points in 48 games this season. He is a -7 with 18 penalty minutes, seven power-play points, one game-winning goal, 105 shots on goal, 62 faceoff wins, 16 blocked shots, 62 hits, eight takeaways, and 18 giveaways.
Gaudreau registered his sixth career hat trick. He has previously scored three goals in a game in a 4-3 Flames win over the Los Angeles Kings on December 22, 2014, in a 5-4 Flames win over the Boston Bruins on December 4, 2015, in a 4-1 Flames win over the Winnipeg Jets on December 22, 2015, in a 4-1 Flames win over the Jets on December 27, 2018, and in a 9-4 Flames win over the New Jersey Devils on March 12, 2019.
The Flames win over the Lightning was unexpected.. Gaudreau opened the scoring from Tyler Toffoli of Scarborough, Ontario, and Rasmus Andersson of Malmo, Sweden at 7:35 of the first period on the power play. He also scored the game-winning goal from Matthew Tkachuk of Scottsdale, Arizona with exactly one minute left in the second period to put the Flames up 2-1. Then at 13:44 of the third period, Gaudreau scored from Elias Lindholm of Boden, Sweden, and Andersson to put the Flames up 4-1.
Gaudreau has 26 goals and 51 assists for 77 points in 57 games. He is a +44 with 22 penalty minutes, 16 power-play points, seven game-winning goals, 187 shots on goal, one faceoff win, six blocked shots, seven hits, 34 takeaways, and 63 giveaways.