NHL Recaps: Connor McDavid hits 60 goals, and Penguins back in wild card spot
NHL Recaps: March 22, 2023
Only two games were on the calendar for Wednesday night which allowed everyone to focus on Connor McDavid lifting the Edmonton Oilers with his 60th goal of the year.
NHL Recaps: Connor McDavid hits 60 goals
Oilers 4 vs Coyotes 3 (OT)
Connor McDavid scored his league-leading 60th goal of the season 1:31 into overtime, his second tally of the night, to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 victory over the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night.
McDavid, who slammed his stick off the boards after firing a shot off the post just seven seconds earlier, got the puck back from Leon Draisaitl and then broke down the slot and roofed a sharp-angle shot from the left side of the crease over Arizona goalie Connor Ingram for the winner.
“Leon makes a great play on the first pass, and I felt like I was kind of pressing for the 60th all night, and I was disappointed not to bury that one, you’re not going to get many better looks than that,” McDavid said. “It’s not every day you get two breakaways back to back like that. He made two unbelievable plays. Just ridiculous.”NHL.com
It was the 15th career overtime winner for McDavid, who became the first Oiler since Wayne Gretzky in 1986-87 to hit the 60-goal mark. McDavid needed the fewest games (72) to score 60 goals in a season since the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Mario Lemieux got there in 62 games during the 1995-96 campaign.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored two goals for Edmonton (41-23-8, 90 points), which closed to within two points of the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division by registering its fifth straight victory. Draisaitl finished with four assists, and Stuart Skinner made 14 saves for the win.
Clayton Keller scored twice, J.J. Moser added a goal and Nick Schmaltz had two assists for Arizona (27-33-12, 66 points), which is 6-1-3 in its past 10 games. The two goals extended Keller’s point streak to 10 games (nine goals, 10 assists), tying his career high. Ingram finished with 27 saves.
NHL Recaps: Penguins reclaim wild card spot
Penguins 5 vs Avalanche 2
Jeff Carter scored twice, Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 in Denver on Wednesday night.
“I think you’ve got to be playing your best hockey when you go into the postseason,” Carter said. “Obviously, you want to be locked in as early as possible, but sometimes when you go to battle for your lives that kind of gives you a boost and you keep going with it.”NHL.com
Sidney Crosby and Brian Rust also scored and Tristan Jarry turned away 28 shots for Pittsburgh (35-26-10, 80 points), which ended a four-game skid and moved a point ahead of Florida for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
J.T. Compher and Devon Toews had goals and Alexandar Georgiev made 40 saves for the Avalanche (41-23-6, 88 points), who saw their six-game winning streak snapped.
The Avalanche played without defenseman Cale Makar (lower body) for the second straight game and Evan Rodrigues, who is in concussion protocol from a hit in Monday’s win over Chicago.
The Penguins were without three defensemen — Jeff Petry (upper body), Marcus Pettersson (undisclosed) and Jan Rutta (undisclosed).
–Field Level Media