McDavid scores 100th point of season for Oilers in 53rd game

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Connor McDavid scored his 100th point of the season for the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday in his 53rd game.

McDavid scored four points (one goal, three assists) against the Vancouver Canucks to become the first player in 25 years, and ninth in NHL history, to score at least 100 points through his first 53 games of a season. Mario Lemieux (126) and Jaromir Jagr (101) of the Pittsburgh Penguins each did it in 1995-96, the 24th and 25th time it was accomplished.

McDavid has 32 goals and 68 assists.

Video: VAN@EDM: McDavid beats Demko to kick off scoring

It is the fourth time McDavid scored 100 points in a season. It took him 66 games during the 2018-19 season (34 goals, 66 assists), when he finished with his NHL career-high 116 (41 goals, 75 assists) in 78 games played.

It took him 77 games in 2017-18, when he scored 108 (41 goals, 67 assists) in 82 games; and took him 82 games in 2016-17 (30 goals, 70 assists).

This NHL season was reduced to 56 games and began in January because the 2020 Stanley Cup Final ended Sept. 28 after last season was paused due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

McDavid’s scoring rate of 1.88 points per game this season would generate 154 points in a traditional 82-game schedule.

“Personally, I want to continue to play good hockey, our group wants to continue to play good hockey,” McDavid said. “We want to go into the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs on a good note. Personally, it’s a number. Obviously, it’d be kind of different to be able to do it in a shortened season, but I’m not going to change anything.”

McDavid leads the NHL by 21 points ahead of teammate Leon Draisaitl (79 points; 30 goals, 49 assists).

He scored in the first period, then had an assist on a second-period goal by Jesse Puljujarvi, and on two by Draisaitl.

McDavid has scored at least two points in five straight games and in 10 of his past 11. He has scored 31 points in his past 11 games.

The Oilers captain scored 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) against the Canucks in nine games this season.

“It says a lot about the maturity of him as a person, and everybody knows how incredible he is on the ice, but I’ve seen a young man grow into a leader on this hockey club,” Edmonton goalie Mike Smith. “Obviously, a huge part of why we’ve had success this year. So impressive to watch a young guy like that take this team on his shoulders, and to do what he’s done this year is an incredible feat.”

Other than his rookie season of 2015-16, when McDavid scored 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists) in 45 games, he has never scored fewer than 96 points in a season.

He scored 97 points (34 goals, 63 assists) in 64 games last season, 13 behind Draisaitl for the NHL lead. Draisaitl played seven more games.

McDavid, who was chosen with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, has scored 569 points (194 goals, 375 assists) in 404 regular-season games. The 24-year-old has scored at least 30 goals in each of his past five NHL seasons and has finished first or second in scoring every season since 2016-17.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We know how special a player he is, but to be able to do it every night is another story. He does it in practice every day too, so we do get a taste of it. But obviously he’s having a special season and he’s a pretty spectacular player.”

The Oilers (32-18-2) are second in the seven-team Scotia North Division, 10 points behind the division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs and seven points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets. Edmonton has clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

McDavid has scored 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in 17 postseason games, including nine points (five goals, four assists) last season in a four-game loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

Lemieux reached 100 points in 38 games, and Jagr did so in 52 games in 1995-96.

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