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Oilers' McDavid wins Conn Smythe Trophy after Game 7 loss

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Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid has been awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs after an incredible post-season that finished just short of a Stanley Cup.

The Oilers dropped Game 7 of the Cup final 2-1 to Florida on Monday night as the Panthers won the best-of-seven series 4-3.

Edmonton was attempting an improbable comeback, winning Game 4 and Game 5 of the series after falling behind 3-0 in the final.

The end result didn't take away from McDavid's stellar, record-breaking performance across the post-season.

The 27-year-old superstar had eight goals and 34 assists to lead the playoffs with 42 points.

McDavid is just the sixth player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy but not the Stanley Cup. He joins the likes of Roger Crozier (Detroit Red Wings, 1966), Glenn Hall (St. Louis Blues, 1968), Reggie Leach (Philadelphia Flyers, 1976), Ron Hextall (Philadelphia Flyers 1987) and Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 2003).

He's also the second skater of a Stanley Cup-losing team to win the award after Leach.

McDavid broke Wayne Gretzky's playoff assists record of 31 and fell five points shy of the Great One's points mark of 47 in a single post-season.

He had four points (one goal, three assists) in Game 4, then did it once more (two goals, two assists) in Game 5 to become the first player in Stanley Cup final history with consecutive four-point games.

McDavid was also the first in league history with eight points in a two-game span of the same series.

The six-foot-one, 194-pound centre is the first player to have four different four-point games in a single Stanley Cup playoff run since the Oilers’ glory days of the 1980s.

Gretzky had six four-point games in the 1985 playoffs, while Paul Coffey and Jari Kurri had four apiece that same year. Mark Messier had four such games in the 1988 playoffs.

Nobody did it before, or since that time, until McDavid this season.

McDavid finished the year with a career-best 174 points in 101 games, the most by anyone in a single NHL season since Mario Lemieux had 188 points with Pittsburgh in 1995-96.

This is the fourth consecutive season that McDavid led the NHL in points while combining regular-season and post-season contests.

It's the longest such streak since Gretzky, who was atop the total-season scoring list in nine consecutive campaigns spanning from 1979-80 (when he was tied with Marcel Dionne) through 1987-88.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2024. 

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