EDMONTON — It seems like Connor McDavid can’t go a game without setting a new standard.
McDavid hit the 60-goal mark with his second of the night 1:31 into overtime and the Edmonton Oilers took a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday.
Moments after hitting the post on a previous breakaway, McDavid tried the exact same shot on another breakaway opportunity to score on Coyotes goalie Connor Ingram, making him the fastest player to reach the mark (72 games) since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 (62 games).
“I kind of felt like I was pressing for the 60th all night,” said McDavid, who became the first player in NHL history to score their 60th in overtime. “I was disappointed not to bury (the first one), you are not going to get many better looks than that. It is not every day you get two breakaways back-to-back like that.
“Getting 60, a lot of great players in the past have done it and it feels good to join that list.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had a pair of goals and Leon Draisaitl assisted on all four of the Oilers' (41-23-8) goals.
“He obviously missed the first one and he was telling me he slammed his stick against the boards after,” Draisaitl said of McDavid’s overtime goal. “I just saw their guy bobble it, so I tried to strip him and I saw Connor again. It is crazy to try that same move again and score on it the second time. But that is just what he does, I guess.
“It is pretty hard to score in this league and to score 60 in a season and still have 10 games to go is pretty remarkable. He is just a special player.”
Stuart Skinner made 14 saves for Edmonton, which seems to be rounding into playoff form having won five straight games and nine of its last 11.
Clayton Keller, with two goals, and J.J. Moser replied for the Coyotes (27-33-12) who have lost two straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
“I think we had some good urgency,” Keller said. “It was a tough back-to-back for us, but I think we did a good job. We were a little sloppy at the start and we didn’t want to put them on the power play and it was good for us to kind of just stick with it and play a mucky game and get a point out of it.”
Ingram stopped 27-of-31 shots in the loss.
“Our guys never quit, they keep going, they have character, they play for each other, there are a lot of guys who want to suffer for each other and there is a huge brotherhood in that room,” said Arizona head coach Andre Tourigny.
Edmonton’s deadly power play opened the scoring 5:47 into the opening period. McDavid took it behind the goal line and banked it off of Ingram's head and in to extend his home point streak to 16 games.
Moser knotted the game with a power-play marker with 4:13 left in the first. Matias Maccelli made a nice feed through the crease to give Moser an easy tap-in at the side of the net before Skinner could get across.
Keller gave the Coyotes the lead 3:37 into the second period after a giveaway behind the Oilers' net allowed Nick Schmaltz to send it in front, and Keller extended his point streak to 10 games with his 33rd goal of the season.
With just 10 seconds to play in the middle frame, Draisaitl sent a backhand pass from behind the net and up the middle, where Nugent-Hopkins wired it home to tie the game on the power play.
Arizona regained the lead 8:54 into the third when Barrett Hayton made a nice pass through traffic to get Keller a wide open net and his second goal of the game.
Just over three minutes later, the connection between Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins struck again.
Draisaitl made a long stretch pass to send Nugent-Hopkins in on a breakaway and he beat Ingram stick-side for his second of the game to eventually send the contest to overtime.
The Coyotes came into the game having been outshot in an NHL-high 62 of their 71 games this season, a league-worst 87.3 per cent, and had given up 40 shots in six of their last 10 games. … McDavid entered the game leading the NHL with 44 points since the all-star break, with Keller in second with 35 points. … Out with injuries for the Coyotes were Josh Brown (lower body) and Zack Kassian (upper body) … Missing for the Oilers were Ryan Murray (back), Ryan McLeod (upper body) and Devin Shore (undisclosed). Edmonton played the game with 11 forwards and seven defencemen.
The Oilers host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.
The Coyotes close out a three-game road trip in Colorado against the Avalanche on Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2023.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press