On Friday, Michael Grabner recorded a hat trick that included two empty net goals.
Grabner has 13 goals on the season with 6 of them coming via empty net.
Last season, Grabner had 27 goals with only four of them coming via empty net.
Grabner said that his main objective when on the ice with the lead is to kill time off the clock but that when he gets the opportunity he tries to "go and get that goal." (NYR Game Notes)
He added, "I'm just trying to, not cheat but when I get the chance, turn a goal and try to beat some guys." (NYR Game Notes)
Alain Vigneault said that Grabner has made the most of his opportunities, uses his speed to find the holes and has got "quite a few goals" with empty nets.
Vigneault added, "he seems to be a key player for us there."
Ryan McDonagh said of Grabner, "There are tons of guys with speed in this game that can really skate, but he's got great hockey sense with it and that's what allows him to get these opportunities. You see the 5-on-5 goal that he scored and even the empty net goals, he's not really ever cheating for them. He's creating his opportunities by pressuring d-men and getting loose pucks when they're chipped out. I just like the fact that he has great awareness of when and when not to use his speed to go on the attack." (NYR Game Notes)
The single season record for empty net goals is 9 by Pavel Bure in 1999-00.
Keith Tkachuk is second with 8 in 96-97, Mario Lemieux had 7 in 88-89 and Grabner is tied with Tkachuk, Jaromir Jagr and Wayne Gretzky (3 times) with sixth empty net goals in a season.