Neal nets career-high four goals as Oilers sink Islanders


The puck felt more like a rock to James Neal, and the net an ocean, as he scored four goals including a natural hat trick in the Oilers 5-2 win against the Islanders to open a four-game road trip.

He completed his hat trick with two power play goals, scoring from both sides of the Islanders' goal. The experienced winger now has six goals for the season already, which is the most anybody has scored for the Oilers in the team's first three games of a season.

Neal was sent to the Oilers this offseason in a trade that saw Milan Lucic landing in Calgary.

Neal managed only seven goals and 19 points in 63 games last season with the Flames.

Zack Kassian also scored for the Oilers, who are 3-0-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season. 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. Connor McDavid had three assists, Leon Draisatl added two and Mikko Koskinen stopped 25 shots.

The Kings went back up with five minutes to play in the first when Kopitar tucked the puck under Smith's arm, giving L.A. three goals on six shots. He gave the Oilers the lead for good just 96 seconds later, when he was stationed to the left of the net and tucked home a pass from McDavid.

But not even Thomas Greiss could help NY stop the "real deal" in this one.

Neal is the second player to score four goals this season, joining Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha's October 6 performance. Martin pulled the Islanders within 5-2 with 6:28 left.

He gets to play against New Jersey's shaky defense next on Thursday.