NHL roundup: Connor McDavid nears milestone as Oilers trim Flames


Evan Bouchard broke a deadlock and Connor McDavid collected two more assists in his quest to join elite company as the visiting Edmonton Oilers claimed a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames in a hard-fought Battle of Alberta clash Saturday night.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored once in a three-point game, while Leon Draisaitl and Connor Brown also scored for the Oilers, who are 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Goaltender Calvin Pickard made 33 saves.

With his helpers, McDavid has 99 assists, pulling him that much closer to becoming only the fourth player in NHL history to collect 100 in a season. McDavid would join Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky (who did it 11 times) and Mario Lemieux.

Edmonton is three points back of the Vancouver Canucks for the top spot in the Pacific Division and holds one game in hand. Edmonton also has a six-point edge on the third-place Los Angeles Kings.

Yegor Sharangovich scored once and added an assist, while Nazem Kadri also scored for the Flames. Goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 shots. Calgary has lost three straight, eight of nine and 11 of 14 outings since the trade deadline.

Penguins 5, Lightning 4

Michael Bunting tapped the puck inside the right post at 14:32 of the third period to give Pittsburgh a win over visiting Tampa Bay despite blowing a three-goal lead.

Evgeni Malkin had two goals and an assist, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang also scored, and Erik Karlsson added three assists for the Penguins, who won their fourth straight. Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 31 saves.

Steven Stamkos had two goals, Nicholas Paul and Anthony Duclair also scored, and Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each had three assists for the Lightning, who had won five of six.

Bruins 3, Panthers 2 (OT)

Jesper Boqvist sniped a deciding breakaway at 2:05 of overtime as Boston earned a win over visiting Florida in a key Atlantic Division clash.

Boqvist made the winning play happen all by himself, coming away with the puck out of a defensive-zone wall battle before breaking down the left side circle. Charlie McAvoy and Charlie Coyle also scored for Boston, which has won four straight and holds a five-point lead atop the division. Linus Ullmark made 28 saves in the Bruins net.

Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov each scored a goal while Gustav Forsling dished out two assists for Florida, which is just 2-4-1 over its last seven games. Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 stops.

Devils 4, Senators 3

Brendan Smith had a goal and two assists for New Jersey in a win against host Ottawa.

Jesper Bratt had two assists, and Jake Allen made 25 saves for the Devils, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Claude Giroux and Jake Sanderson each had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who have lost three straight. Anton Forsberg allowed three goals on nine shots before he was replaced in the first period by Joonas Korpisalo, who made 18 saves in relief.

Blackhawks 3, Stars 2

Connor Bedard, Andreas Athanasiou and Seth Jones scored second-period goals 4:03 apart and Petr Mrazek made 42 saves as host Chicago halted Dallas’ franchise-best eight-game winning streak.

The Stars remained atop the Central Division, three points ahead of the idle Colorado Avalanche. The clubs are set to meet Sunday in Denver. Outshot 44-17, the hosts capitalized on their limited offensive chances to win for the second time in three games.

Roope Hintz scored his third goal in the past four games to end Mrazek’s bid for a shutout at 15:37 of the second period. The Stars drew within a goal with 4:23 left in the game, with Jamie Benn redirecting a Miro Heiskanen shot for his 20th goal of the season.

Jets 4, Wild 2

Vladislav Namestnikov scored once in a three-point game and Alex Iafallo collected one goal and one assist to lead visiting Winnipeg to a victory over slumping Minnesota in Saint Paul, Minn.

Kyle Connor and Morgan Barron also scored for the Jets, who are riding a three-game winning streak and sit third in the Central Division. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves.

Kirill Kaprizov scored both goals for the Wild, who have lost three of four games and are in last-gasp territory with their hopes of reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs. Mats Zuccarello posted a pair of assists and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 21 shots.

Sharks 3, Blues 2 (OT)

William Eklund completed his hat trick with 1:04 left in overtime and host San Jose swept the three-game season series from St. Louis.

Eklund kept the puck on a 2-on-1 rush and beat Joel Hofer for the game winner. It was a costly missed point for the Blues, who have lost three of their last four games and are seven points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Jordan Kyrou and Brayden Schenn scored for St. Louis. Robert Thomas had two assists and Hofer made 22 saves. Devin Cooley made 34 saves for the Sharks.

Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 2

Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 64th goal and visiting Toronto defeated Montreal.

Max Domi, Matthew Knies and Bobby McMann also scored for the Maple Leafs. Ilya Samsonov made 24 saves.

Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens. Cole Caufield added a goal and Mike Matheson contributed two assists. Cayden Primeau made 18 saves in relief of Sam Montembeault, who allowed four goals on 12 shots.

Blue Jackets 6, Flyers 2

Defensemen Damon Severson and Zach Werenski both scored twice as host Columbus delivered a blow to Philadelphia’s playoff chances by sending it to its seventh straight defeat.

Defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Nick Blankenburg also scored and Werenski added an assist for the Blue Jackets, who won for just the fourth time in 14 games (4-8-2). Johnny Gaudreau had a pair of assists. Jet Greaves made 37 saves for his second victory of the season.

Olle Lycksell and Adam Ginning responded for the Flyers, who are 0-5-2 in their last seven and fell outside of the playoff picture with the loss. Samuel Ersson stopped 27 shots.

Islanders 2, Predators 0

Semyon Varlamov stopped all 41 shots for host New York, which took over sole possession of third place in the Metropolitan Division with a win over Nashville in Elmont, N.Y.

Noah Dobson scored in the second period and Kyle Palmieri scored an empty-netter with 1:19 left for the Islanders, who won their fourth straight game. The win snapped a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers, who fell 6-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier Saturday.

The Islanders are also two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the race for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Lankinen made 28 saves for the Predators, who have lost four of five.

Kings 6, Canucks 3

Adrian Kempe had two goals and an assist as the Los Angeles continued its mastery of visiting Vancouver.

The Kings have won five of their past six games against Vancouver and clinched the season series 3-1. Drew Doughty and Kevin Fiala each had a goal and an assist and Anze Kopitar had two assists for the Kings, who have won three straight. Cam Talbot stopped 39 shots.

Brock Boeser, Dakota Joshua and Teddy Blueger scored for the Canucks, who have lost four of their past six games as they work toward the Pacific Division title. Casey DeSmith made 23 saves.