Connor McDavid scored his second career NHL hat trick – the first ever by an Oilers player in a season opener – to power Edmonton to victory in the first of five “Battle of Alberta” showdowns this season. The reigning Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winner, who led the League with 30-70—100 in 2016-17, became the fifth player in NHL history to record a natural hat trick in a season opener, joining Bert Corbeau (Dec. 24, 1919), Billy Boucher (Nov. 29, 1924), Ray Getliffe (Nov. 6, 1937) and Radim Vrbata (Oct. 3, 2013).
Wayne Simmonds registered his second career hat trick – the first ever by a Flyers player in a season opener – to help Philadelphia past San Jose, marking the first season-opening loss by the Sharks since 2009-10 (halting their seven-game win streak in such contests).
Wednesday marked the third time in NHL history that the first day of the season featured multiple hat tricks. The first such instance came on the inaugural day of NHL play on Dec. 19, 1917, when both contests – Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators and Toronto Arenas at Montreal Wanderers – featured two players with at least three goals. The other occurred on Oct. 9, 1986 when Maple Leafs forward Tom Fergus (3-2—5 vs. MTL) and Penguins forward Randy Cunneyworth (3-0—3 vs. WSH) each achieved the feat.