NHL: Connor McDavid hits 93 points, Sidney Crosby powers Penguins, Isles scratch Mathew Barzal and more
Connor McDavid and the chase for 100 points continued last night against the Canucks. Leon Draisaitl scored twice to hit 26 goals on the season and they were both set up by McDavid. Those two assists now brings his totals to 93 points with five games to play.
Connor McDavid continues chase for 100 points
Will he hit 100 points? McDavid needs to average 1.4 points per game to hit the mark. Considering he’s at a 1.82 clip this year it appears he will. To hit the century mark in just 56 games is nothing short of amazing.
The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks by a 4-1 margin. They continue to distance themselves from the slumping Jets and surging Canadiens. With 66 points on the season, Edmonton appears to have second place in the North locked up.
After the game, last year’s MVP Draisaitl seemed to hint at who he thinks should win it this season. He also contradicted McDavid recent position on the chase for 100 points that “it’s just a number.”
“He does so much for our team. He does so much for us on a nightly basis that the least we can do is help him out as much as we can,” Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said. “It might not be that important to him, but it sure is important to us for him to get [100 points]. Obviously you don’t want to overdo it and kind of let that get out of hand, but I think our team really wants to wants him to get it.”
Sidney Crosby’s three point night powers Penguins back to first place; Mathew Barzal a healthy scratch
The Pittsburgh Penguins avenged their previous loss to the Philadelphia Flyers thanks to Sidney Crosby’s three point night. The Pens captain helped his team defeat Philly by a 7-3 with two goals and an assist. More importantly, Evgeni Malkin hit the score sheet with two helpers after missing 23 games due to injury. Pittsburgh now holds first place in the East by two points over the Capitals, although Washington holds two games in hand.
“I know, as a group, we weren’t pleased with the effort that we had last night,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We wanted to be better. I thought, to a man, we were a much better team tonight. I thought it started with our leaders.”NHL.com
Meanwhile, the New York Islanders struggles continue as the lost to the Buffalo Sabres again. Journeyman goalie Michael Houser stopped 45 shots in the 4-3 shootout victory leaving Barry Trotz not happy with his team’s performance. Matthew Barzal was a healthy scratch last night for the first time in his career, his coach explained why.
“It’s never an easy conversation, but I don’t have a lot of regard for personal milestones, games played and all that,” Trotz said. “I believe all in the team stuff, so I think Mat’s a good pro. He’s going to be a big part of what we’re doing. I’m not too worried about that. I just want to get him in the right place and feeling good so that he’s a good player for us in the playoffs here.”
As the Islanders can’t seem to beat anyone other than the Rangers these days they’ve fallen to fourth in the division. The Bruins on the other hand look scary good. However, last night they fell in OT to the Devils but remain in third place by one point over the Isles. Boston has a game in hand as well.
Hurricanes heading for the Presidents trophy
The Carolina Hurricanes picked up another win, this time 6-3 over the Chicago Blackhawks. Nino Niederreiter scored twice to hit the 20 goal mark and Petr Mrazek picked up the win on 27 saves. As far as the race for the Presidents Trophy goes, the Canes have a four point edge over the Florida Panthers at 79 points.