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Oilers bite Sharks 9-2, McDavid earns 100th assist

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th assist this season with Zach Hyman (18) against the San Jose Sharks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Monday April15, 2024. (Jason Franson / The Canadian Press) Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th assist this season with Zach Hyman (18) against the San Jose Sharks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Monday April15, 2024. (Jason Franson / The Canadian Press)
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Connor McDavid achieved a rare feat as his team was administering a rare beating.

McDavid had a goal and added his 100th assist of the season as the Edmonton Oilers closed out the home portion of their regular-season schedule with some panache, squashing the San Jose Sharks 9-2 on Monday.

The Oilers captain is just the fourth player in NHL history to hit the 100-assist milestone behind Wayne Gretzky (11 times), Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr, and the first since 1990-1991.

“It means a lot. Those three are obviously three of the greatest players to ever play. To share a little something with them, it means a lot to me,” McDavid said. “It has been a different type of year, but everybody stuck with it, and we’ve put ourselves in a good spot heading into when it matters most.”

Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said McDavid always seems to be able to set a higher bar.

“It is probably the hardest one that he has accomplished,” he said. “You can’t really be surprised with the things he does every year. It is an amazing accomplishment. You probably didn’t think it was possible for it to happen in this day and age, but he keeps surprising you. I am very proud of him.”

Warren Foegele had two goals and Adam Henrique and Dylan Holloway each had a goal and two assists. Corey Perry, Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard and Zach Hyman also scored for the Oilers (49-25-6) who snapped a two-game losing streak. Edmonton has gone 11-1-2 in its last 14 home games.

Danil Gushkin and Fabian Zetterlund replied for the Sharks (19-53-9) who have lost four of their last five.

“You throw away the tape,” Sharks head coach David Quinn said when asked what his squad should do after a game like that.

“We never looked like we really thought we had a chance, is kind of what it felt like. We were slow, very slow in what we were doing and we were losing a lot of battles. There was a lot of hesitation in our game.”

McDavid made an instant impact in his return from injury, scoring his 32nd just 53 seconds into the opening period on the game’s first shot as he turned on the jets and then banked a passing attempt off of defender Marc-Edouard Vlasic and past San Jose goalie Devin Cooley.

Edmonton took a 2-0 lead four minutes into the first period as the rebound from a Brett Kulak shot came out front to Henrique and he netted his 24th of the season and sixth as an Oiler.

The Oilers kept their foot on the gas with another goal coming midway through the first when Foegele elected to shoot on a two-on-one and recorded his career-high 18th of the campaign.

Henrique picked up his second point of the period with 25 seconds left in the first as he fed it in front to Holloway who redirected it through Cooley’s legs for his fifth.

The Sharks got on the board two minutes into the middle frame as Gushkin somehow snuck a backhand shot between Oilers starter Stuart Skinner and the post for his first of the season and second goal in five career NHL appearances.

Edmonton got that back less than three minutes later as Foegele made a diving lunge to poke in a loose puck that was lying in the crease for his second of the contest.

Bouchard made a perfect pass to Perry at the side of the net to give the veteran forward his 12th of the year. With the assist Bouchard became just the second defenceman in Edmonton franchise history to hit the 80-point mark.

Edmonton made it 7-1 with seven minutes left in the second period as Henrique passed it ahead to a hard-driving Ceci and he deflected in his fifth.

Just 31 seconds later the Oilers added yet another goal as Perry elected to dish it to Bouchard on a two-on one and the young Oilers blueliner notched his 18th.

Georgi Romanov came into the Sharks net to make his NHL debut, replacing Cooley, who allowed eight goals on 22 shots.

The moment that fans had been waiting for came with 4:25 to play in the second period as McDavid hit the century mark for assists as he sent it to Hyman at the side of the net for an easy tap-in and his 54th of the season.

Edmonton seemed to back off somewhat for the third and the Sharks got one back as a result as Zetterlund swatted in his 23rd during a mad scramble in front with 4:25 to play.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2024.

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