Connor McDavid leads Edmonton Oilers past Calgary Flames

May 1, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) tries to make a pass in front on Calgary Flames forward Michael Backlund (11) during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid collected a goal and two assists and Leon Draisaitl added four assists to lead the host Edmonton Oilers to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday and deliver a blow to their rivals’ playoff hopes.

Ethan Bear, Josh Archibald and Darnell Nurse also scored for the Oilers (30-17-2, 62 points). Goaltender Mike Smith made 29 saves for the team on the verge of clinching a playoff berth.

With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Oilers are nine points behind the North Division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs with two games in hand. Edmonton is also five points ahead of the third-place Winnipeg Jets.

Johnny Gaudreau scored for the Flames (22-25-3, 47 points), and goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots. Calgary is eight points back of the Montreal Canadiens for fourth spot in the North Division. Both teams have six games remaining.

The Oilers won six of 10 meetings in the season series.

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McDavid, who was held off the scoresheet in the previous two Battle of Alberta clashes, faced both defensemen as he entered the offensive zone and still ripped a top-shelf power-play goal at the 4:46 mark of the game for his 29th tally of the season.

McDavid showed his passing skills to set up Bear’s second tally of the season that made it 2-0. While zipping around the zone, McDavid sent a pass to the pinched defenseman at the bottom of the left circle, and Bear wired a slap shot at 7:19.

With their season on the line, the Flames regrouped and made a game of it. Minutes after he rang a shot off the crossbar, Gaudreau put the hosts on the board when he pounced on the rebound for his 18th goal of the season just past the midway point of the second period.

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Gaudreau is on a seven-game point streak in which he’s collected three goals and eight points.

However, Archibald and Nurse added empty-net goals to end Calgary’s comeback hopes.

McDavid now leads the league with 87 points on the season. He also reached 556 for his career in his 400th NHL game, which is two more than Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby managed in his first 400 regular-season contests.

–Field Level Media