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USA TODAY

Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid put an exclamation point on his memorable season Saturday night as he recorded his 100th point in Game 53 of this coronavirus-abbreviated 56-game season.

He is the first to hit 100 points in less than 56 games since the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did so in 1995-96.

McDavid did so with a four-point game against the Vancouver Canucks. It is his 33rd multipoint match of the season and the 20th time he has had three points or more.

He wasted some time getting on the scoreboard and scored a goal less than a minute inside the game. McDavid then added assists on the Oilers’ three second-period goals, including the primary assist on Leon Draisaitl’s last-minute power-play goal of the second, which earned McDavid No. 100 on the year.

This goal held up as the winner as the Oilers claimed a 4-3 victory.

The Hart Trophy frontrunner has played against the same six Canadian teams all season, but the performance remains remarkable.

Most points previously scored in an abbreviated season were Jagr and Eric Lindros (70) in the season with 48 games 1994-95 and Martin St. Louis (60 in 48 games in 2012-13). Both of these lockout-shortened seasons were conference games only.

“He has been a horse for us for sure and clearly a big reason why we have been successful this season and obviously a special talent that continues to improve, which in itself is amazing,” goalkeeper Mike Smith said before. the fight.

McDavid is in his sixth season and this is his fourth 100-point season. He was at 97 points last season before the coronavirus pandemic ended the regular season in early March.

McDavid is the third active player with at least four 100-point seasons before 25 years. The others are Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Wayne Gretzky holds the record with seven 100-point seasons before turning 25.

“They’s the game’s best players ever,” McDavid said after Saturday night’s victory. “It is special to be mentioned in the same breath as the guys.

“As far as my game is concerned, I have just focused on trying to be prepared every night. Of course, I think team success comes first. Our team has been able to play good hockey most of the season with the exception of the first month.

“When the team plays well, it is when individuals are successful. You see a lot of guys on our team having some really good seasons. ”

McDavid has said during this race that he is more focused on driving to the Stanley Cup. He has helped the Oilers get a playoff berth and an advantage with the home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

“It has been a lot of fun to watch as his teammate. “It just shows the work he puts in,” defender Darnell Nurse said before the game. Every year he comes in and looks like a completely different animal and just adds on top of the game that he has already evolved. “

McDavid is an astonishing 21 points ahead of number 2 leading scorer Draisaitl, who has an impressive 79 points in 53 games. The reigning NHL MVP is 12 points ahead of Mitchell Marner and Brad Marchand, who sit tied for third with 67 points. So McDavid is 33 points ahead of any rival player.

“It’s hard to compare eras, it’s hard to compare generations,” Draisaitl said Saturday night. “The game has changed.

“Whatever these guys did in the past is impressive. What Connors does is impressive. He’s right up there with those guys. … He’s the best player in the world, so it’s fun to be a part of. ”

With three games left – and then the playoffs – there is still time to add to his historic campaign.

“I do not know why he would settle for 100,” Smith said. “There are higher goals out there that he can hit.”

Contribution: Associated Press

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