John Tavares nets natural hat trick in under eight minutes

New York Islanders centre John Tavares had a natural hat-trick in 7:14 against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

John Tavares absolutely exploded for a natural hat trick in under eight minutes to single-handedly bury the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

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The trio of consecutive third-period tallies came 7:14 apart and quickly extended the Islanders’ lead from two goals to five as they dropped the Preds 6-2. It was Tavares’ second hatty in his last three games, and his 10th point in the last four contests.

First of the three came off a rebound just 12 seconds into the final frame. The second resulted from a broken play in the slot with Tavares banking the puck off the skate of Calle Jarnkrok, while the third was a bullet of a blast from the top of the left face-off circle.

Tavares, who will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, currently sits third in NHL goal scoring with nine and tied for sixth in the league with 13 points.