After going pointless in his previous three games, Connor McDavid added three points against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, en route to a 3-2 win for the Edmonton Oilers. The victory for the Oilers snapped a three-game winless drought, and they lead the season series 3-1 against their provincial rivals.
Saturday’s 3-point effort from McDavid was his 60th in his NHL career and the sixth time he’s put up a trio of points in a game against the Flames. McDavid has always been known to cause problems for his opponent, specifically the Flames, who have seen McDavid tally 10 points in 4 games against them. And he was imperative to the Oilers’ latest win.
Ability to Take Over Games
Despite the Flames coming out with an entirely re-energized look following the firing of head coach Geoff Ward earlier in the week, their energy was no match for the speed and precision of McDavid. Last night’s game may have been one of the clubs most spirited efforts from each individual I’ve seen all season, and the Flames’ third and fourth lines appear to have found more life since the return of Derek Ryan to the lineup, but they still need to find a way to shut down teams and execute a full 60 minutes.
The Flames didn’t trail against the Oilers until McDavid’s game-winning snipe with just 3:45 seconds left in the third period — a shot so deadly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a goalie in this league who could stop it. The blame for any of the Oiler markers shouldn’t be on Jacob Markstrom. In the loss, Markstrom stopped 30 of 33 shots and posted a .909 save percentage. This was his first game action since suffering an upper-body injury (from ‘Edmonton Oilers roar back to take a bite out of Calgary,’ Edmonton Sun, 03/07/21).
McDavid spoke with the media following the win about how important it was to capture two points during a low point for the team. “When you’re sliding like we were, sometimes it’s tough to find your way out of it, and I thought we did a great job as an entire group of sticking with it even though it wasn’t our best start,” Connor McDavid said. “I love the way we held onto that one.”
McDavid is a game-changing player because even on nights where his team is struggling, he can take over and win for his team single-handedly. His linemates were clicking with him, and he had the help of a hot goalie, as Mike Smith set aside 34 of 36 shots, but without the NHL’s point leader in their lineup, last night’s hockey game would have had a very different outcome. He truly is a highlight reel just waiting to happen, and he showed us why with a goal and two assists vs. the Flames.
There will be no rest for the Flames, as they get right back into action vs. a team they’ve become very familiar with in recent days. Since Feb. 25, this will be the fifth meeting between the Flames and Ottawa Senators, who happen to be in last place in the North Division.
Calgary let two very important points slip from their hands last night, and they can’t afford to give up two more to the league’s second-worst team. The Flames will once again be without their head coach, too, as Darryl Sutter remains in quarantine before joining his new team.
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