Ducks rookie Sam Steel notches first hat trick in win over Canucks

Sam Steel recorded his first career hat trick, Rickard Rakell score his 15th of the season and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4.

VANCOUVER — Bo Horvat wants to see his Vancouver Canucks string together three solid periods of hockey.

The centre was frustrated after his team dropped their third contest in a row, losing 5-4 to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.

“We had like a 30-minute lull again. And we can’t be doing that. Our team’s got to play a full 60 minutes,” Horvat said.

Horvat saw glimpses of hope as the Canucks (32-35-10) were up 2-1 at the end of the first period and clawed out pair of goals late in the game, but couldn’t find the equalizer to force overtime.

“We showed what we can do there in the last 10 minutes of the game,” Horvat said. “We were all over them in their zone all the time. And we’ve got to play like that every single game, all the time, every shift, everybody.”

Rookie Sam Steel had his first career NHL hat trick for the Ducks (32-36-10). The 21-year-old native of Ardrossan, Alta., became the youngest player in Anaheim’s history to complete the feat in a regular- season game.

“It’s pretty special to accomplish that, and to do it in a win is even better,” Steel said.

Rickard Rakell and Kiefer Sherwood added goals for the Ducks.

Jake Virtanen, Alexander Edler, Josh Leivo and Tanner Pearson all scored for the Canucks.

Anaheim goalie John Gibson put up 28 saves and Jacob Markstrom stopped 19-of-24 shots for Vancouver.

But Markstrom was beat by Steel on a penalty shot near the end of the second period after Vancouver’s Markus Granlund was called for throwing a broken stick into the puck.

“I didn’t really try to move (the stick) where the puck was going. But he passed the puck at the same time,” said Granlund. “I made a mistake there and obviously it cost us. It’s tough.”

Anaheim’s coaching staff thought the officials would call a two minute penalty for the play, said assistant coach Mark Morrison.

“We learned something today,” said assistant coach Mark Morrison, who also thought they wouldn’t be able to chose who took the shot.

Canucks coach Travis Green said he knew about the rule but had never seen it called. He also wasn’t sure it was fully followed.

“I thought the way the rule book stands, it should have been awarded to one of the guys that was either passing the puck or getting the puck,” he said. “But other than that, that’s what the rule book says.”

Morrison said the Ducks were vocally advocating for Steel, who already had two goals in the game.

“Everybody was yelling for him to go so he could get a chance at the hat trick. It was a nice move too,” said Rakell.

Being on the spot brought up some nerves for Steel but the bench’s support helped.

“It was a really cool moment and a special opportunity so it’s nice to see the guys wanting me to succeed,” said Steel, who played in his 18th NHL game. “It’s pretty cool, a great group for me and the other younger guys.”

Steel was picked 30th overall by the Ducks in the 2016 draft and has toiled in the American Hockey League for much of the season. He was called up on Saturday when centre Ryan Getzlaf was scratched from Anaheim’s lineup with an upper-body injury.

The Ducks coaching staff are trying to get some of their young talents like Steel more NHL ice time before the end of the season.

“It’s about trying to make sure when the season kicks up next year those guys have more experience and they are ready to go,” said Morrison.

Despite the win, the Ducks were eliminated from the playoffs on Tuesday after the Arizona Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks.

“It was inevitable and not something we have really put our minds to,” Morrison said. “We have more or less put our minds to getting better every day here, and playing some new systems since the coaching change and just trying to get the systems down for everybody.”

The Canucks will continue their seven-game homestand on Thursday when they battle the L.A. Kings.

The Ducks will visit the Calgary Flames on Friday.

Notes: Canucks defenceman Alex Edler scored the 93rd goal of his career, tying him with Mattias Ohlund for most goals by a defenceman in Canucks’ history. … Anaheim was playing without former Canucks centre Ryan Kesler, who is listed as day-to-day with a hip injury. … Vancouver defenceman Josh Teves made his NHL debut. The Canucks signed the 24-year-old Calgary native to a one-year deal earlier this month after he wrapped his senior season with the Princeton University Tigers.

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