The Edmonton Oilers have won their seventh straight Saturday afternoon game, topping the San Jose Sharks 6-1.
“I like what we’re seeing,” Oilers Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said. “I would go back to Christmas and say I think that we’ve been playing pretty similarly since Christmas time. Specifically, the last five games we’ve given up what we’ve given up, but for me I think there’s been a real positive upward trend since Christmas.”
The Oilers are 12-0-1 in their last thirteen games.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring 5:46 into the game, finishing off an extended session of puck possession in the Sharks zone. Tomas Hertl tied it up just over a minute later. Late in the first, Connor McDavid popped the puck past James Reimer to notch his 150th point of the season. It’s just the 17th 150-point season in NHL history and the first since Mario Lemieux in 1995/96.
“I haven’t put a ton of thought into it,” McDavid said after the game. “And then the guys kind of put a little video together of all the other five guys that have done it and it kind of hit me, that was special of them to do. To hear from all five was amazing. It meant a lot.”
“A special player joined an elite group of players in the history of the game,” Woodcroft said of McDavid. “And obviously what drives him is making sure that the team wins and it’s a big reason why we won today.”
Halfway through the second, Zach Hyman walked in front and flicked in a backhand for his 36th. In the dying seconds of the period, Derek Ryan provided a shorthanded goal to make it 4-1.
In the third, Leon Draisaitl sent a spinning backhand pass in front to Philip Broberg, who worked his second chance past Reimer for his first of the season. McDavid registered point 151 on a breakaway goal with 5:24 to go.
The Oilers lead the league with 17 shorthanded goals.
It’s the Oilers longest win streak since they won nine straight from February 20 – March 13, 2001.
“I think you always think you could be playing better, but we’re playing pretty well,” Hyman said. “I think we’re playing our best hockey at the most important time of year, so we’ve got to keep building our game and yeah, it’s going well for us, that’s a good thing.”
Defenceman Jason Demers played his first game as an Oiler to hit 700 career NHL games.
The Oilers, 48-23-9, will visit the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 6 p.m., game at 7:30 p.m.).