Overlooked Stats From Oilers’ 7-3 Win Over Blackhawks

Fans were treated to an unforgettable moment at Rogers Place on Saturday (Jan. 28), as the Edmonton Oilers head into the All-Star Break with a resounding victory in their 50th game of the season, 7-3 over the Chicago Blackhawks

Tyson Barrie scored twice, while Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, and Connor McDavid all had a goal and two assists for the Oilers, but the player everyone was talking about after the game was Matt Berlin, a University of Alberta goalie who made his professional hockey debut on Saturday, just hours after signing an amateur tryout (ATO) contract with the Oilers

The Oilers were in need of a backup for Jack Campbell after Stuart Skinner was ruled out of action Saturday with an illness and signed the 25-year-old Edmonton native on an emergency basis. 

With his team leading comfortably late in the third period, Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft relieved Campbell so that Berlin could realize every goalie’s dream of playing in the NHL. 

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Berlin was in net for 2:26 and stopped the only shot he faced. He is the 61st goaltender to appear in an NHL regular season game for the Oilers, and – for now, at least – the only one with a perfect save percentage (SV%) and goals-against average (GAA) of zero. 

In the excitement around Berlin’s special night, a few incredible stats might have been overlooked. Here are a few of them:  

McDavid Joins Select Company 

One game after reaching 40 goals this season, McDavid surpassed the 50-assist mark for 2022-23. The NHL’s leading scorer now has 41 goals and 51 assists in 50 games, which is just the 15th time in NHL history, and the first time since 1995-96, that a player has had at least 40 goals and 50 assists in their team’s first 50 games. He becomes the ninth player to achieve that feat, joining Wayne Gretzky (five times), Mario Lemieux (three times), Marcel Dionne, Phil Esposito, Jaromir Jagr, Jari Kurri, Bernie Nicholls, and Steve Yzerman. 

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McDavid’s three-point night also gives him a seventh consecutive season with at least 90 points, the first NHL player to do that since Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman totaled at least 90 points every season from 1986-87 to 1992-93. 

Point Streak Continues for McDavid 

McDavid, who now has points in 12 straight games and 29 of his last 30, has been held pointless only five times this season. 

Related: Oilers’ McDavid at New Level with Most Frequent Scoring of Career 

Only seven other players in NHL history have points in at least 45 of their team’s first 50 games: Gretzky (seven times, including the most recent in 1990-91), Guy Lafleur, Lemieux, Peter Stastny, Bryan Trottier, and Yzerman. 

McDavid still has a chance to tie Gretzky for the all-time record of most games with a point in a season, 77 in 1985-86, should the Oilers captain record a point in all 32 of Edmonton’s remaining games. 

Hyman Is a Big Plus for the Oilers 

Saturday’s game was the fourth this season in which Hyman has notched at least three points while registering a plus/minus of three or better. The only other Oilers players to do that since 1988-89 are McDavid (three times), Draisaitl (twice), and Ryan Smyth (once).  

Zach Hyman, Edmonton Oilers
Zach Hyman, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

The red-hot Hyman now has goals in five consecutive games, pushing his season total to 26 goals, one short of his career high set in 2021-22. Over Edmonton’s last seven games, Hyman has six goals, 10 assists, and an incredible plus/minus of 12. 

Campbell Wins Again 

Campbell’s remarkable turnaround continues. After posting a 4.02 GAA and ghastly .876 SV% in 15 games prior to the Christmas break, the veteran netminder has a 2.25 GAA and .911 SV% over his 10 appearances since.  

The first-year Oiler has now won his last seven starts, only the 10th time in Edmonton’s NHL history that a goalie has got the win in at least seven consecutive starts. Campbell’s career high is 11 straight wins, which came in 2020-21 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Edmonton’s franchise record is 10, established by Andy Moog in 1982-83 and equalled by Grant Fuhr in 1985-86. Mike Smith won nine straight starts for the Oilers last season. 

Following a slump that saw Edmonton win just four times in 12 games, the team is now 7-0-1 in its last eight contests. The Oilers now have nearly a week and a half without a game before returning to action on Feb. 7 when they visit the Detroit Red Wings. In the meantime, Draisaitl, McDavid, and Skinner are off to Sunrise, Fla., where they’ll suit up for the NHL All-Star Game on Feb. 4.