NHL rookie forward Barzal powers Islanders past Jets


New York (AFP)

Hockey's rising star Mathew Barzal recorded his first career hat-trick Saturday to help consolidate his reputation as one of the most exciting young players in the game.

The 20-year-old Canadian provided the New York Islanders with all the scoring they would need by tallying three goals in a 5-2 NHL win over the Winnipeg Jets.

"It was an all-around effort with my linemates tonight," Barzal said. "It's just awesome to get that chemistry going and get a win."

Slovak netminder Jaroslav Halak delivered a sturdy effort in goal by making 38 saves but it was a more memorable day for rookie forward Barzal, who scored twice in the first period and once in the third.

At 20 years and 211 days old, Barzal is the youngest Islanders player to record a hat-trick since current New York captain John Tavares achieved the feat at 20 years and 117 days on January 2011.

Barzal completed the hat trick by breaking loose in the Jets' zone and beating goaltender Steve Mason from point-blank range with 8:38 remaining in the third period.