Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid sprinted to a 100-point NHL season with a goal and three assists Saturday in a 4-3 win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
McDavid collected his 97th to 100th point before the end of the second period of his 53rd game. The 24-year-old became the ninth player in NHL history — and the first in his own lifetime — to reach the century-point mark in 53 games or less, according to NHL statisticians.
McDavid tops the NHL’s scoring race with 32 goals and 68 assists. Edmonton has three games remaining in the regular season.
Leon Draisaitl scored twice and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored for the Oilers (33-18-2). Defenceman Darnell Nurse had a pair of assists and goalie Mike Smith made 22 saves for the win.
The Oilers will finish second in the North Division behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, who clinched top spot with a 3-2 win earlier Saturday over the Montreal Canadiens.
With his fourth 100-point season, McDavid became the third active player with at least four before age 25 alongside Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.
J.T. Miller, Travis Boyd and Tyler Graovac scored for the Canucks (20-26-3), who are 2-8 in their last 10 games and rank at the bottom of the division.
Thatcher Demko had 30 saves in the loss in the fourth game in six days for both clubs.
The Oilers are 6-3 in the season series against the Canucks with a game remaining Saturday in Edmonton’s regular-season finale.
McDavid assisted on both of Draisaitl’s power-play goals in the second period.
Draisaitl’s second with 40 seconds remaining in the period gave Edmonton a 4-3 lead heading into the third.
McDavid and James Neal set up Draisaitl’s first at 12:27 of the second to make it 3-2 for the Oilers, but Vancouver’s Graovac countered less than two minutes later to knot the score.
Graovac went bar down on Jayce Hawrluk’s feed from the boards.
Trailing by two goals midway through the second, the visitors scored twice in a span of two minutes 28 seconds to draw even.
Boyd collected his first as a Canuck at 11:40, banging a loose puck by Smith. Miller halved Vancouver’s deficit on a breakaway at 9:12 of the second period.
The Canucks forward intercepted a Nurse pass and wrapped a backhand around Smith’s outstretched right pad.
Puljujarvi scored at 6:54 from the slot off the rush with McDavid, who snared a loose puck in the neutral zone and raced it into Vancouver’s end.
Oilers coach Dave Tippett challenged a Quinn Hughes goal for offside early in the second period and got that decision from officials.
Edmonton’s No. 97 produced his 97th point just 45 seconds after the opening faceoff. McDavid’s wrist shot deflected off the leg of Vancouver defenceman Alex Edler and by Demko.
Notes: Canucks forward Zack MacEwen served a one-game suspension Saturday for kneeing Edmonton’s Nurse on Thursday … McDavid has four goals and 12 assists in his last five games … Draisaitl has six goals and six assists in his last five.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
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