Kevin Labanc’s hat trick lifts Sharks

EDMONTON, Alberta — The Sharks have been getting contributions from just about everyone during their five-game winning streak.

On Saturday night, it was Kevin Labanc’s turn. The 23-year-old recorded his first career hat trick as San Jose beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-2.

“I have to show that I’m doing everything I can to be here and to make myself better and make this team better as well,” Labanc said. “We’re trying to improve ourselves in the standings. We have a great team here and we have to keep this rolling.”

Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl also scored for the Sharks and Aaron Dell stopped 21 shots.

“When mentally we want to engage, and do it the right way, we’ve eliminated a lot of odd-man rushes and on top of it our goalie has been playing really solid,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Kassian scored for the Oilers, who have lost seven of eight. Edmonton has also lost five straight at home and is 2-11-0 in its past 13 games at Rogers Place.

“We can’t play this way and actually expect to win hockey games, not at this time of year. Quite frankly, not ever. Maybe in an exhibition game,” Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said.

The Sharks got a break on the first goal of the game midway through the first period when Labanc’s shot caromed off of Oilers defenseman Kevin Gravel and past goalie Cam Talbot.

San Jose added to its lead a couple of minutes later when Kane was left all alone on his path to the front of the net. He easily scored his 24th goal.

The Sharks made it 3-0 on the power play six minutes into the middle period when Labanc rifled a shot top corner.

Labanc recorded his third goal of the game and ninth of the season early in the third period, beating Talbot with a wrist shot from the slot.

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