Connor McDavid scored twice and added two assists as the visiting Edmonton Oilers beat the slumping Vancouver Canucks 5-3 on Monday to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
McDavid, who is running away with the league’s point-scoring race, has collected 31 goals and 91 points. He has six games remaining in the regular season to reach the century mark.
Jesse Puljujarvi had a goal and an assist and Tyson Barrie and Dominik Kahun also scored in the win, and Leon Draisaitl logged two assists.
Goaltender Mikko Koskinen stopped 20 shots for the Oilers (31-17-2, 64 points), who have won four of five games and are eight points behind the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the North Division with two games in hand. J.T. Miller collected a goal and an assist, and Nate Schmidt and Brock Boeser contributed goals for the Canucks (19-24-3, 41 points). Vancouver received a 27-save performance from goalie Braden Holtby in its fifth straight loss.
The Oilers and Canucks meet three more consecutive games as McDavid pursues the 100-point mark in the truncated season. The Edmonton superstar has managed three or more points in six of the past seven games.
McDavid opened the night by setting up Puljujarvi’s goal before the four-minute mark – a tap-in goal set up by a slick pass when everyone figured McDavid would shoot.
Schmidt tied the game with 6:56 remaining in the opening period when his long shot found the mark, but Barrie’s goal 18 seconds into the second period put the Oilers ahead for good. Barrie darted from his point position after McDavid’s shot was stopped. McDavid reached the 30-goal plateau for the fifth consecutive season when he made it a 3-1 game by firing a shot that Holtby could only get a piece of at the 16:33 mark of the middle frame.
Miller drew the hosts within one 43 seconds later when he found a loose puck in the slot and deposited a nifty backhand. Kahun restored the two-goal edge by completing a three-way passing play with 44.1 seconds left in the second period. Boeser again put the Canucks within one when he ripped a shot off a won faceoff with 3:27 remaining in regulation, but McDavid iced the game on an empty-net goal with one minute left.
Aho nets hat-trick as Hurricanes blast Blackhawks
Sebastian Aho scored three goals and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Monday night in Raleigh, N.C., extending their points streak to 11 games in a push to finish with the best record in the NHL.
Carolina (35-10-7, 77 points) leads the Central Division, two points ahead of the Florida Panthers, who also won Monday in overtime against the Dallas Stars. The Vegas Golden Knights have the second-highest point total in the NHL, 74.
Dougie Hamilton and Martin Necas scored first-period goals before Aho delivered twice in slightly more than a five-minute span in the second period. Aho’s second goal came on a power play. Aho’s final tally came with 16 seconds remaining into an empty net for his first hat trick of the season and fourth of his career. He has a team-high 24 goals this year.
Vincent Trocheck provided two assists, while Hamilton also had an assist. Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 15 shots in improving to 7-0-1 in his last eight starts. At 15-4-3, he now shares the team lead for victories with James Reimer.
Trailing 4-0, the Blackhawks got on the board on Ian Mitchell’s goal with 1:25 to play in the second period. Alex DeBrincat’s team-leading 26th goal of the season came with 5:22 to play, pulling the Blackhawks within 4-2. Goalie Collin Delia made 19 saves for the Blackhawks in relief of starter Malcolm Subban, who stopped 14 of 18 shots before being removed. Dominik Kubalik assisted on both Chicago goals. Chicago (22-24-6, 50 points) had only 11 shots through two periods on its way to a fifth consecutive defeat.
Carolina is 8-0-3 during its points streak, including a current four-game winning streak. The Hurricanes ended up with a 38-17 advantage in shots on goal. Aho has a team-leading 18 multi-point games this season.
The rookie Mitchell has three goals this season, with two of those coming in Raleigh. DeBrincat has scored in three consecutive games for the second time this season. It was the first of three consecutive games between the teams in the same building, with rematches coming Tuesday and Thursday nights as the Hurricanes round out their home schedule.
Oilers 5-3 Canucks
Bruins 3-0 Devils
Predators 4-3 Blue Jackets
Wild 6-5 Golden Knights
Panthers 5-4 Stars
Capitals 6-3 Rangers
Hurricanes 5-2 Blackhawks
Avalanche 5-4 Sharks
Flyers 7-2 Penguins
Sabres 4-2 Islanders
Canadiens 3-2 Maple Leafs
Blues 3-1 Ducks
Kings 3-2 Coyotes
Senators 2-1 Jets
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