Connor McDavid reaches 99 assists, Edmonton Oilers roll to victory over reeling Calgary Flames

CALGARY — Evan Bouchard scored the go-ahead goal 10:36 into the third period and the Edmonton Oilers kept on rolling with a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Leon Draisaitl, with his 40th goal, Connor Brown, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, into an empty net, also scored for Edmonton (47-24-5), which is 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Calvin Pickard made 33 saves for the win, improving to 12-6-0.

It’s Draisaitl’s third straight 40-goal season and fifth of his career, which is third in franchise history behind Jari Kurri (seven) and Wayne Gretzky (nine).

Combined with Vancouver’s 6-3 loss in Los Angeles, the Oilers climbed within three points of the Canucks for top spot in the Pacific Division. They also hold one game in hand.

Yegor Sharangovich and Nazem Kadri replied for Calgary (34-37-5), which has lost eight of its last nine. Andrei Kuzmenko extended his point streak to five games (four goals, five assists) with two assists on the night.

Jacob Markstrom had 23 stops, falling to 23-21-2.

Down 2-1 headed to the third period, Calgary tied it at 7:13 on its second power-play goal. Kuzmenko sent a pass to Sharangovich who blasted a shot that was deflected in by Kadri.

But just over three minutes later, it was the visitors striking with their second power-play goal. Bouchard took a pass from Nugent-Hopkins and notched his 17th goal on a blast from the blue line.

Connor McDavid also had an assist, giving him two on the night and a career-high 99 on the season, surpassing his previous high of 97 from last year.

It’s the most assists in an NHL season since Gretzky had 122 in 1990-91. McDavid is on the cusp of becoming just the fourth player to have 100 assists in a season. He’d join Gretzky (11 times), Mario Lemieux (one) and Bobby Orr (one).

Up 1-0 after 20 minutes, Edmonton doubled its advantage 3:13 into the second period. After failing to generate a shot on goal on a 2-on-1, the puck popped out to Brown who was trailing the play and fired in his fourth goal of the season.

Brown, who didn’t score in his first 54 games, has scored four times in his last 11.

The two-goal lead lasted only 44 seconds, though.

On the power play, Sharangovich took a pass from Kuzmenko and leaned into a slapshot, picking the top corner for his 30th of the season.

The Flames had plenty of opportunities to open the scoring getting the first three power plays of the game. But it was the Oilers, on their second man advantage of the period, who opened the scoring with 16 seconds remaining before the first intermission.

From the same spot on the ice inside the faceoff circle in which he’s scored so many power-play goals in his career, Draisaitl took a pass from Nugent-Hopkins and sizzled a one-timer under the crossbar.


Sharangovich, acquired from New Jersey last off-season, is the sixth player to score 30 goals in his first year with the Flames. He joins Kent Nilsson (40, 1979-80), Mike Cammalleri (39, 2008-09), Lanny McDonald (34, 1981-82), Bob MacMillan (31, 1977-78) and Hakan Loob (30 in 1983-84).


Since being acquired from Nashville on Feb. 28, 2023, Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm is plus-69 in 95 games, which leads all NHL players over that span.


Oilers: Open a four-game homestand on Wednesday against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Flames: Kickoff a three-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2024.

Originally Appeared Here

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