Chris Kreider is currently the undisputed hero in Rangerstown, having single-handedly secured the Rangers’ series win over the Carolina Hurricanes in game 6 with a spectacular third-period natural hat trick. It only seems apropos that we remember Chris Kreider’s first hat trick as we celebrate his latest hat trick.

Kreider’s journey to stardom began nearly a decade ago under less favorable circumstances. On November 30, 2013, amidst some uncertainty in his game, he scored his first-ever hat trick against a coach who didn’t believe in him.

Back then, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella, formerly of the Rangers, hoped his new team would secure a win in New York. However, the Rangers triumphed 5-2 at Madison Square Garden, with the spotlight on young rookie Chris Kreider. Kreider netted his first two goals against Roberto Luongo in the first period and completed his hat trick in the third against backup Eddie Lack.

During the previous season under Tortorella, Kreider had struggled, managing only two goals and an assist in 23 games with the Rangers. He also spent significant time scratched from the lineup or playing in the American Hockey League. Despite this, Kreider downplayed any notions of revenge against his former coach following the game. Notably, Kreider’s hat trick was the first by a Ranger against the Canucks since Wayne Gretzky’s in 1997.

The game saw Cam Talbot making critical saves against Alex Burrows and Henrik Sedin before the Rangers took a 1-0 lead at 12:37 of the first period, with Kreider beating Luongo stick-side on a partial breakaway following a turnover by Canuck Alex Edler. Kreider then redirected a shot-pass from Ryan McDonagh at 16:54 to make it 2-0 during a power play caused by Zack Kassian’s puck-over-glass penalty.

The Rangers extended their lead to 4-0 in the second period when Michael Del Zotto’s slapshot from the top of the circle, aided by Ryan Callahan’s screen, found its way through Lack’s pads during another power play.

Despite the Canucks’ David Booth cutting the deficit to 4-1 at 15:50 of the second period with a backhand goal, Kreider completed his hat trick with a deflection at 9:38 of the third. Daniel Sedin added a late goal for Vancouver, but it was too late as the Rangers secured a convincing victory against their former bench boss.

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