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NHL: Connor McDavid scores his 53rd and 54th goals; new high of 124 pts

Connor McDavid scored another brace, his sixth in eight games, as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Buffalo Sabers 3-2 on Monday.

With his 53rd and 54th goals of the campaign, the Alberta superstar gave himself a ten-goal lead over his closest pursuer, David Pastrnak, of the Boston Bruins.

Thanks to this new harvest of two goals, McDavid beats his best production of points in career, at 124 points after 65 games. He had totaled 123 in 80 games last year.

It was the No. 97 Oilers who opened the scoring when he took veteran Craig Anderson by storm with a spin game on his backhand side.

On a power play, Jeff Skinner tied the score before the end of the first period, firing a one-timer to beat Stuart Skinner. On the streak, Tage Thompson got his 41st assist.

After Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was disallowed for offside in the middle period, Edmonton finished the engagement strong and the fourth line provided a timely goal, Derek Ryan’s.

A second time, the Sabers brought the counters to zero, this time thanks to Dylan Cozens, who scored his club’s second goal after 41 seconds of play in the third period.

Less than three minutes later, McDavid put the visitors back in charge. He accepted the throw-in from Warren Foegele at the entrance of the zone, before easily escaping his cover and beating Anderson between the leggings.

The Oilers’ next game is Thursday night in Boston.


Late-game turbulence sweeps Jets away

The San Jose Sharks saved the best for last in a 3-2 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets.

San Jose was on its way to a sixth straight loss before tying the game with ten seconds left in regulation time.

Couture now has seven career overtime goals, the third most in Sharks history. Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau dominate with ten game-winning goals each.

It was a Logan Couture goal at 1:21 of overtime that made the difference. He collected his 22nd of the season when he beat David Rittich as he spun alone past him after being well fed by defender Erik Karlsson.

Karlsson and Couture were behind the equalizing goal late in the third. After the puck deflected off a player, Tomas Hertl retrieved the loose puck to lodge it in the top to force overtime.

Karlsson had his 25th multi-point game this season, a new high for the Sharks. The back thus doubles Brent Burns, who had collected 24 in 2015-16.

Nate Schmidt broke a 1-1 tie at 14:53 of the third to put the Jets ahead with a one-timer after assists from Nikolaj Ehlers and Blake Wheeler.

Nino Niederreiter scored his first goal in a Jets uniform to put his new team ahead in the second period.

Niederreiter’s goal was his 200th career goal and he became the first Swiss to reach that milestone in NHL history. Roman Josi is closest to his compatriots at 157 goals in 820 games.

Josh Morrissey collected his 52nd assist on Niederreiter’s goal. In the history of the Jets/Thrashers franchise, there are only three other players who have done better than him. The leader is Blake Wheeler with 71 in 2018-19.


The Canucks are ahead of CH in 26th place

Elias Pettersson scored his 30th goal of the season, and the Vancouver Canucks posted their fourth win in their last six outings, 4-3 in a shootout against the Nashville Predators.

It was this same Pettersson who made the difference during the shoot-off, since he was the only scorer of the session.

From the fifth minute of play, Pettersson, well fueled by Andrei Kuzmenko, set the tone for hostilities by delivering a powerful shot into the top corner to Juuse Saros.

Just 27 seconds later, however, Colton Sissons replied for Nashville, who faced rookie goalie Arturs Silovs, while Thatcher Demko enjoyed a night off.

Vasily Podkozlin and Dakota Joshua – the latter at 5:43 of the final period – thought they had put Vancouver in control for good with a 3-1 lead, but the visitors didn’t give up.

It was a rookie who sounded the alarm clock for the Preds (31-23-7) when forward Luke Evangelista scored his first NHL goal, in his fourth game with the big club.

At 16:55 of the third period, that same Evangelista deflected Tyson Barrie’s powerful slap shot slightly behind Silovs, and suddenly Nashville could hope to leave Rogers Arena with two points in the bank.

With this harvest of two points, the Canucks (36-32-5) pass a point in front of the Canadians, in 26th place overall, with the same number of games played.

The Predators fired 31 shots at Silovs’ net, while Saros was tested 27 times.


Copley is right about his former teammates

Pheonix Copley stopped 20 pucks, and Mikey Anderson scored at 7:53 of the third period, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals.

Copley, who signed his 20th victory with the Kings since joining the minor ranks at the turn of the new year, thus defeated the club with which he had obtained 27 starts, in 2018-2019.

In the victory, Adrian Kempe had two points, including the insurance goal in an empty net, with only seconds remaining in the duel.

Vladislav Gavrikov scored his first goal as a member of the Kings (37-20-8), who are posting a four-game winning streak.

The other scorer for the California team was Quebecer Phillip Danault, who scored his 16th goal.

Taking advantage of a double power play to let his talent speak for itself, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin added a 36th goal to his tally, 2:31 into the final period. He then tied the game 2-2.

Anderson, however, got the better of Darcy Kuemper a few minutes later. On this victorious goal, Quinton Byfield obtained an assist in a fourth game in a row.

Washington (31-28-6), whose status is precarious in the playoff race, had won its two previous meetings.

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