The Day After 48.0: Connor McDavid becomes fastest to reach 40 goals since Pavel Bure in win over Canucks
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis9 days ago
When the Edmonton Oilers were struggling in the early part of the season, their games were often plagued by slow starts and sloppy finishes.
Over the past few weeks, the team has cleaned up both of those issues, and, as a result, they’re now on a season-high six-game winning streak.
The Oilers rolled into Vancouver on Saturday night and Connor McDavid immediately got things started with a goal just over one minute into the game. The goal was McDavid’s 40th of the season in just his 48th game, making him the fastest player to reach the 40-goal mark since Pavel Bure did so in 48 games during the 1999-00 season.
The Oilers extended their lead to 2-0 thanks to a power-play goal from Zach Hyman later in the first period and they made the score 3-0 early in the second frame when Leon Draisaitl buried his 28th of the season.
The Canucks scored late in the second period and early in the first period to make the game interesting but the Oilers slammed the door the rest of the way. They held Vancouver to just four high-danger scoring chances in the third and they earned a 4-2 win after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored into the empty net.
Stuart Skinner, who was recently named an All-Star, stopped 27 of 29 shots in his return to the net following the birth of his first child.
“I felt felt pretty good. Felt a little rusty in the first,” Skinner said. “Kind of missed my post a couple of times, but that’s normally what it feels like. After making a couple of stops, I felt pretty good. Then going into the second period felt good, and then rest of the game, I just tried to grind it out.”“I never saw Pavel Bure up close, but I think his speed was a huge factor in his ability to score goals and dominate the way he did,” Head coach Jay Woodcroft said about McDavid matching Bure’s pace. “I think Connor is his own unique player. He’s the player of his generation, and what we’re seeing is special. What I really enjoyed seeing was how he dug in on those penalty kills at the end of the game. And he’s serious about winning. And I think that resonates in what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to win.”“I think we’re showing a lot of good depth,” McDavid said when asked about the team’s winning streak. “We’re getting contributions from everybody, whether it’s on the score sheet or playing physical, or blocking a shot, or being solid defensively. I think we’re getting contributions up and down the lineup and then a little maturity. We found ourselves in some tight games and finding a way to close them out, and that’s a big part of the part of winning.”
THE DAY AFTER IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY
- Zach Hyman registered a point in all four of Edmonton’s goals on Saturday. In doing so, he set a new career-high in points in a single season with 56. His previous career-high came last season when he scored 54 points over 46 games. His single-season career-high while with the Toronto Maple Leafs was 41 points in 71 games.
- The Los Angeles Kings lost to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night so the Oilers have jumped into third place in the Pacific Division. They’re two points back of the Kraken and three points back of the Golden Knights, though Seattle has two games in hand and Vegas has one.
- The Oilers will have a prime opportunity to extend their winning streak this week as they’re facing two teams who are in last place in their respective divisions, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks. They’ll also have quite a bit of time to rest as they host Columbus on Wednesday and Chicago on Saturday. After that, it’s the All-Star break.
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