PITTSBURGH (AP)Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists to outduel Sidney Crosby, and the surging Edmonton Oilers rolled past the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Tuesday night.
McDavid pushed his point total to an NHL-best 122 by finishing off his 22nd career four-point game with a pretty shot from a tight angle 9:13 into the third period. His 44th goal gave the Oilers a three-goal lead.
Evander Kane scored his sixth goal in his last four games for Edmonton. Evan Bouchard, Zach Hyman and Zack Kassian also scored as the Oilers improved to 17-4-2 in their last 23 games. Mike Smith stopped 33 shots to win his ninth straight start.
Jeff Carter picked up his 19th goal for the Penguins, who fell to Edmonton at home in regulation for the first time since 2006. Crosby had five shots on goal but didn’t record a point as Pittsburgh spent most of the night chasing after McDavid and an Oilers team that is heading to the playoffs on a tear.
The Penguins are heading the other way. Casey DeSmith finished with 37 saves for Pittsburgh, which played its fifth straight game without injured All-Star goalie Tristan Jarry. The Penguins fell to 4-5-1 in their last 10 but remained in third place in the Metropolitan Division after Washington lost to the New York Islanders.
Pittsburgh and Edmonton both came in smarting after losing on Sunday to teams playing out the string. Columbus drilled the Oilers 5-2 while Pittsburgh lost 4-1 at Philadelphia.
Given a little over 48 hours to recharge, only the Oilers seemed energized. They pushed the pace early, reeling off 16 of the game’s first 24 shots and generating several breakaways or odd-man rushes. DeSmith stopped McDavid and Kane early, but Bouchard’s wrist shot from near the top of the right faceoff circle zipped by the goaltender’s glove 12:47 into the game to put Edmonton in front.
Bouchard appeared to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead with a wrist shot from the slot 1:58 into the second only to have the goal waved off after the Penguins successfully challenged that Edmonton began the play offsides.
Carter evened the game 5:23 into the period when Mike Matheson’s blast from the point went wide of the net and right to Carter’s stick at the doorstep.
Twenty-five seconds later, the Oilers finished off a pretty rush that ended with a drop pass from McDavid to Kailer Yamamoto, who then slipped the puck cross-ice to Kane. Kane beat DeSmith for his 22nd goal, heady territory considering he’s played in just 41 games this season.
While the Penguins made a push, they struggled to generate consistent zone time. Edmonton was more effective at taking advantage of its opportunities.
Hyman jammed in a shot from in front on the power play 4:08 into the third to make it 3-1 and McDavid closed in on his fourth career scoring title by taking a pass from Leon Draisaitl, then skating past a pair of Penguins before ripping a shot from near the goal line high over DeSmith’s right shoulder.
NOTES: Pittsburgh F Jason Zucker left in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. … The Oilers were 2 for 4 on the power play. The Penguins were 0 for 4.
Oilers: Have two more games at home to end the regular season, starting on Thursday against San Jose.
Penguins: Finish up the regular season at home on Friday night against Columbus.
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