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Connor McDavid’s birthday spree sends Oilers past Sharks

Jan 13, 2023; San Jose, California, USA;  Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) shoots the puck during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid celebrated his 26th birthday with two goals and an assist and Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each added a goal and two assists as the visiting Edmonton Oilers cruised to a 7-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

It was the 23rd multi-point game of the season for McDavid, who became the first player in the league to hit the 80-point mark this season. McDavid improved his NHL-leading totals in goals to 37, assists to 45 and points to 82.

McDavid is the first player to reach 80 points in a season in 44 games or fewer since Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis all did so in 1995-96.

Klim Kostin, Jesse Puljujarvi and Ryan McLeod also scored goals for the Oilers, who improved to 13-7-1 on the road this season with their second straight win. Edmonton’s Jack Campbell finished with 25 saves.

Oskar Lindblom scored a goal and Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 34 of 41 shots for San Jose, which lost for the fifth time in in its past six home games (1-4-1). The Sharks took their most lopsided defeat of the season.

McDavid gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at the 10:59 mark of the first period with a power-play goal. He skated in from the right point and then fired a wrist shot from the right circle past Kahkonen’s blocker side.

Kostin made it 2-0 near the end of the period when Zach Hyman’s pass into the crease caromed in off his left skate for his eighth goal of the season and third in two games.

McDavid extended Edmonton’s lead to 3-0 at the 8:22 mark of the second period with his second power-play goal of the game and 16th of the season. Draisaitl set up the score by sliding a rebound to McDavid for a backdoor tap-in by the right post.

Nugent-Hopkins made it 4-0 less than five minutes later with a short-handed goal, firing a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle past Kahkonen for his 21st goal of the season.

Draisaitl scored his 24th goal of the season at 17:55 of the middle period. He shot a one-timer from the high slot off a backhand pass from McDavid in the left circle.

Puljujarvi and McLeod scored goals 32 seconds apart midway through the third period to make it 7-0.

Lindblom spoiled Campbell’s bid for his first shutout of the season when he redirected Matt Benning’s point shot for his fourth goal of the season with 4:58 remaining.

–Field Level Media