January 9, 2017
Greg Boysen

With the game tied 2-2 midway through the third period, rookie forward Ryan Hartman scored a natural hat trick to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-2 victory of the Nashville Predators.  The thing was, Hartman’s hat trick was anything but natural!

Hartman’s first goal was an interesting occurrence and needed a lengthy review to make sure it even counted.  The rebound from Richard Panik’s shot from slot popped straight up and was batted into the net as Hartman and Nashville defender Yannick Weber battled at the side of the net.  And to make matters worse, the net came loose as the puck was crossing the goal line.

After the review the call of a good goal on the ice was upheld.  Here is the official explanation from the league:

“At 11:49 of the third period in the Predators/Blackhawks game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Nashville net. Video review confirmed that the puck deflected off the body of Chicago's Ryan Hartman and into the net in a legal fashion, before the net was dislodged. According to Rule 78.4 "If an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his skate or body, in any manner, the goal shall be allowed." Good goal Chicago.”

Hartman went on to score two empty net goals late in the game to complete his first career hat trick. 

"It's not really how you draw it up," Hartman said. "But they count. I don't think anyone is really going to remember them in a couple days."

According to the Elias Sport Bureau, Hartman is just third Blackhawk over the past 22 seasons to score three goals in the same period.  The other two players to accomplish this feat were Dustin Byfuglien and Patrick Sharp, who both did it November of 2007. 

Source: NHL
Image Credit: Chicago Blackhawks