Patrik Laine's Scoring Outburst Continues With Hat Trick Against Blackhawks

By Jacob Nitzberg on February 18, 2022 at 10:15 am
Feb 8, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Patrik Laine (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the second period at Capital One Arena.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Patrik Laine is no stranger to hat tricks.

In fact, he had eight of them in Winnipeg. Up until Thursday night, however, he didn't have a single one in a Blue Jackets sweater.

It was time for that to change. 

None of Laine's three goals against the Blackhawks were highlight-reel worthy, but they were crucial to securing the two points. His goal in the second period gave the Blue Jackets a two-goal cushion, as did his goal in the third. His empty-netter sealed the deal (yes, the game was probably over at that point).

In his last eight games, Laine has put up video-game numbers. He's found the back of the net ten times and has added six assists. It's no coincidence that the Blue Jackets are 6-2-0 in those eight games. Here's what the Finnish forward's current run looks like:

Date Opponent Result Goals Assists
1/27 NYR W, 5-3 0 2 (Assist on Boone Jenner's GWG)
1/30 @MTL W, 6-3 2 0
1/31 FLA L, 8-4 2 0
2/8 @WSH W, 5-4 2 (2 PPG) 1 (Assist on Jenner's GWG)
2/10 @BUF W, 3-2 (OT) 0 1 (PPA on Oliver Bjorkstrand's game-tying goal in the third period)
2/12 @MTL W, 2-1 1 (PPG, GWG with seven seconds left) 1
2/15 @CGY L, 6-2 0 1
2/17 @CHI W, 7-4 3 (GWG, first hat trick as a Blue Jacket) 0
Totals: 8 GP 6-2-0 10 (3 PPG, 2 GWG) 6

That's not a bad run of form for Laine and the Blue Jackets, whose 6-2-0 record in their last eight games is made even more impressive by the fact that six of those eight games have come on the road. They'll return home to host the Sabres on Sunday and the Maple Leafs on Tuesday before departing on a brutal two-game road trip. Normally, a two-game road trip wouldn't be categorized as brutal, but the Blue Jackets will head to Florida to take on the Panthers on Thursday night, then they'll have the pleasure of taking on the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

"It's always fun to finish (a road trip) with a win," said Laine postgame. "Obviously, 4-1 on the road is not easy to do, especially after the (All-Star) break. Really happy the way things worked out for us, but (the) work's not done yet and we'll keep it going from here."

Laine's first goal on Thursday night set a new franchise record as the fastest goal scored after the start of a period. Nine seconds into the second period, Laine flung the puck in the general direction of the net. It took a couple of rebounds before it trickled past the line.

His second goal was the best, by far. The Blue Jackets were clinging to a 4-3 lead in the third period and needed a spark. They earned a faceoff in the Blackhawks' zone, which Jenner won and sent back to Laine. Laine waited for a second or two for traffic to develop, then sent a heavy wrist shot through said traffic and into the back of the net.

"Honestly, (I saw) nothing," said Laine postgame about his second goal. "I had to reach for it a little bit and tried to get it on net. We've tried that play multiple times this year. We've had similar situations and chances before, but I was able to get that on net and I still have no idea how it went in because I didn't see it, but it still counts."

The Blue Jackets will need Laine to maintain his hot streak if they want to sniff the postseason. Right now, they sit fifth in the Metropolitan Division, 18 points back of the New York Rangers. They're nine points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wildcard.