McDavid, Oilers cruise past Maple Leafs 5-2

EDMONTON – Connor McDavid’s goal-scoring streak has reached legendary status.

McDavid had two goals and an assist for his fifth consecutive multi-goal game as the Edmonton Oilers earned a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

McDavid became the fifth player in NHL history to have such a run. Joe Malone (1921), Punch Broadbent (1922), Alexander Mogilny (1993) and Mario Lemieux (1989) are the others.

“Sometimes it just goes in,” McDavid said of his recent run. “I felt like I was playing good hockey before and it just wasn’t going in for me. You kind of get a bounce and it seems to go in for you. It is a funny game that way.”

“He’s coming at teams at a certain level of pace that backs them off,” added Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft. “He’s willing to shoot through traffic. He goes to hard areas to score. He played a great game tonight.”

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Zach Hyman, Kailer Yamamoto and Klim Kostin also scored for the Oilers (33-21-8), who snapped a two-game skid.

Stuart Skinner made 26 saves.

Woodcroft, who set the franchise record for most wins in his first 100 games as head coach with 59 on Wednesday, said he has seen good things against tough teams the last couple of games — including a narrow 3-2 loss to the league-leading Boston Bruins on Monday.

“We’ve been trending in the right direction post-Christmas,” he said. “Against two of the best teams in the league this week at home we played the game the right way. Part of that is offensively, part of that is defensively, and we got contributions from everybody tonight.”

The Oilers have gone 12-4-6 in their last 22 outings.

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David Kampf and Mitch Marner replied for the Maple Leafs (37-16-8), who had their two-game winning streak halted.

Ilya Samsonov stopped 27-of-32 shots.

“We didn’t have a very good start, obviously, letting their best people get going and getting opportunities off the rush and grabbing the lead,” said Toronto forward John Tavares. “They defended hard, played us hard and we weren’t at the level that we needed to be.”

Marner stated that they had trouble with the Oilers’ offensive skill.

“We wanted to try and keep these guys out of the middle and didn’t do a great job of that tonight,” he said. “We let them have the freedom, speed and space through that neutral zone and they can make you pay for it and they did.”

McDavid opened the scoring on the power play 3:49 into the first period. Samsonov gave up a rebound off a Leon Draisaitl shot that went right to McDavid, who netted it home.

Toronto pulled even on a bizarre goal 12:15 into the opening frame. Edmonton defenceman Cody Ceci effectively stopped playing thinking a sequence was offside, allowing Marner to send it in front to Kampf, who beat an abandoned Skinner for his seventh.

But the Oilers got the goal back 1:38 later as McDavid danced around a defender and found the bottom corner for his league-leading 52nd goal. It was his 10th goal in the last five games.

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Hyman made it 3-1 with 1:55 to play in the first. He picked up a big rebound off a Mattias Ekholm shot and scored on a long shot with Samsonov going the other way. It was Hyman’s career-best 29th goal of the season, coming against his former team.

Ceci made up for his earlier gaffe 8:46 into the second period as his point shot was deflected by Yamamoto for his sixth.

The Oilers distanced themselves even further with 2:48 left in the second. Ryan McLeod made a perfect feed across to Kostin on a 2-on-1, and he notched his 10th of the season.

Marner cut into the deficit 1:08 into the final frame when he beat Skinner with a wrist shot on the power play.

It seemed as though Edmonton had rapidly responded with another power-play marker by Warren Foegele, but a quick whistle negated the goal.


Ekholm, who was acquired in a blockbuster deal between Edmonton and the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, made his Oilers debut. … Defenceman Jake McCabe and forward Sam Lafferty both played their first games as Maple Leafs after coming over in a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, one of a number of trades Toronto has made recently. Defenceman Luke Schenn joined the Leafs in Edmonton after being acquired in a deal with Vancouver, but did not dress. Fellow blueliner Erik Gustafsson, acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals, will join the squad in Calgary on Thursday. … Toronto’s William Nylander suited up for his 500th career game. … The Maple Leafs had won their four previous games in Edmonton, outscoring the Oilers 18-2.

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The Maple Leafs head to Calgary to face the Flames on Thursday for the third of a five-game road trip.

The Oilers close out a three-game homestand against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2023.

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