MacKenzie Weegar’s hat trick leads Flames past Islanders

MacKenzie Weegar collected his first career hat trick and the visiting Calgary Flames beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Saturday in Elmont, N.Y., to run their winning streak to four games.

Weegar’s trio of tallies gives him 15 on the season, most among NHL defensemen. His previous career high was eight, set two seasons ago while with the Florida Panthers.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Blake Coleman both collected one goal and one assist, and goaltender Jacob Markstrom sparkled with 35 saves, 16 of them in the third period. Markstrom added an assist, giving him four on the season — most among NHL goaltenders.

Brock Nelson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau replied for the Islanders, who saw their two-game winning streak snapped. Goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 19 shots.

The Islanders had the very early push, but Weegar opened the scoring at 3:47 of the first period. Taking advantage of New York’s defenders backing too far into zone, Weegar sent a wrist shot from the right face-off dot that Varlamov missed with his glove.

Huberdeau’s power-play goal at 8:38 of the second period doubled the lead. Yegor Sharangovich’s one-timer was stopped, but Huberdeau pounced on a rebound for his eighth goal of the campaign.

Weegar’s second of the game — at 15:16 of the second period — made it a 3-0 affair. With Calgary taking advantage of strong forechecking, the puck came to Weegar in the high slot and he blasted a shot home.

Nelson finally solved Markstrom at 4:00 of the third period when his long shot through the screen put the hosts on the board, his 22nd of the season.

However, Coleman (with his 21st goal of the season) and Weegar both scored empty-net goals in the waning moments. Those scores bookended Pageau’s seventh goal of the season during a wild scramble after Markstrom fanned on an attempt to score into an empty net at the other end.

The Islanders fell to 3-3-1 since Patrick Roy took over as head coach.

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