Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/9/13
Olympic gold medalist. Stanley Cup champion. A three-time 20-goal scorer and one of the NHL's blessed centers in terms of size and skill. So how could it be that Ryan Getzlaf went this long without a hat trick? The Anaheim Ducks captain needed fewer than 20 minutes to scratch that off his list Friday when his three-goal first period highlighted a 6-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres. NHL-best Anaheim (14-3-1; 29 points) figured to be a tall order for last-place Buffalo, and the Ducks' top line of Getzlaf, Dustin Penner and Corey Perry exploited it with four goals and six assists, all in the first period. Penner had a goal and three assists for his first four-point night in nearly four years, and he improved to plus-18 on the season. Even rookie Rickard Rakell took a cue from the big boys with a pretty no-look assist for his first NHL point. The only feel-good moment missing was a goal from Teemu Selanne, who played his 1,400th NHL game and joined Nicklas Lidstrom and Jaromir Jagr as the only European-born players to reach that number. But this night belonged to Getzlaf, who achieved the hat trick after 14 two-goal games. Getzlaf completed it when he went to the net and easily backhanded the puck past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller for a 4-1 lead with 20 seconds remaining in the first. At that point, his three goals and one assist came in 4:56 minutes of ice time. It was the second time in Anaheim history a player scored three goals in the first period. Selanne did it Nov. 10, 1997 against the San Jose Sharks. Getzlaf set the tone 2:11 into the game when he swatted home a loose puck through Miller's legs on the power play. Later in the period, a Buffalo rim-around clear took an odd carom off the corner and bounced to Getzlaf, who rifled it to the upper left corner for his second goal at 16:29.
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