McDavid Scores 2 to Lead Oilers past Vegas, 4-2

LAS VEGAS — Connor McDavid scored two goals, Leon Draisaitl had three assists, and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 on Saturday.

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Ethan Bear and Markus Granlund also scored for the Pacific Division-leading Oilers. Mike Smith stopped 25 shots to earn his 250th career victory. Smith, 7-6-1 this season, bounced back from a 5-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday when he allowed three first-period goals before being replaced by Mikko Koskinen.

Edmonton, 7-3-2 in its last 12 games, moved into a first-place tie with St. Louis Blues atop the Western Conference with 33 points.

Cody Eakin and Shea Theodore scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 27 saves and dropped to 10-4-1 in his career against the Oilers.

Vegas will hit the road for two games mired in a 2-5-2 slide after losing the last two during a four-game homestand.

McDavid extended his point streak to 10 games when he gathered a pass from Draisaitl, skated through the slot and around Fleury before wrapping the puck around and into the net to open the scoring at 5:17 of the first.

McDavid, who leads the Oilers with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in nine games against Vegas, now has 23 points from 12 goals and 11 assists during his streak.

Later in the first it was Bear from the top of the circle beating Fleury on the short side with a wicked wrist shot that gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead with 4 minutes left.

Ethan Bear
EDMONTON, AB – MARCH 3: Ethan Bear #74 of the Edmonton Oilers lines up for a face off during the game against the New York Rangers on March 3, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

After being outskated and outhustled for much of the first period, the Golden Knights finally applied enough pressure and were able to cut Edmonton’s lead in half when Eakin was perfectly positioned after a blocked shot and whacked the puck past Smith with 20 seconds remaining in the period.

Granlund got his 100th career point when he battled in front of the net to clean up his own rebound with a backhand to beat Fleury with just under eight minutes to go in the second. Rookie Patrick Russell, still looking to score his first NHL goal, got his third assist of the season.

Theodore scored his second of the season, ending a 20-game goal drought, when he raced into the zone and used his crafty stick-handling skills to split a pair of defenders in the slot and beat Smith five-hole with 5:41 remaining in the second.

The dynamic and duo of McDavid and Draisaitl struck again, this time on a power play at 2:11 of the third. With Fleury slow to get back in position, Draisaitl’s pass from behind the goal found McDavid who one-timed a wrister into the net, extending Edmonton’s lead to 4-2.

NOTES: Vegas C Paul Stastny is one game shy of playing in the 900th of his career. … Former Oilers great Wayne Gretzky, who often travels with the team, was in attendance. … Draisaitl has posted nine multi-point efforts in his last 15 and McDavid has 12 multi-point games on the season. … The Golden Knights are now 0-5-1 at home when trailing after two.


Oilers: Continue a five-game trip at Arizona on Sunday.

Golden Knights: Open a two-game trip in Dallas on Monday night.


More AP NHL: and

W.G. Ramirez, The Associated Press