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McDavid optimistic injury in Oilers game not serious, to have MRI on leg

Center helped off ice against Flames after crashing into goal post; X-rays show no break

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid will have an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the left leg injury he sustained in the Edmonton Oilers' season-ending 3-1 win at the Calgary Flames, but said he's "fairly positive" there's no serious damage.

McDavid crashed into the left goal post 3:42 into the second period Saturday after he was tripped by Flames defenseman Mark Giordano on a rush to the net. McDavid had to be helped off the ice and did not return. X-rays did not show a broken bone, and he walked into his postseason availability Sunday unaided.

"It seems to be fairly positive right now. I'm going to go for an MRI in a little bit to figure out more," McDavid said. "I was just worried about standing up. I thought my leg was going to give way. To be completely honest, I thought my leg was in two pieces when I was sitting on the ice. Thankfully, the bone is OK, and thankfully I was able to get up and with a lot of help I was able to get off [the ice]."

McDavid had an NHL career-best 116 points (41 points, 75 assists) in 78 games, finishing second in scoring behind Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov after leading the NHL in points in each of the past two seasons. But the Oilers missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons and the third time in four seasons with McDavid, who completed the first season of an eight-year, $100 million contract that has an average annual value of $12.5 million.

Edmonton (35-38-9) finished seventh in the Pacific Division, 11 points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

Video: EDM@CGY: McDavid leaves game with lower-body injury

"I want to be here, if I didn't want to be here I wouldn't have signed an eight-year deal," McDavid said. "I love the guys and this city. There are obviously going to be changes on and off the ice and that's just the facts of it, but I'm here to be part of the solution.

"This year has been frustrating. A lot has been made about what I said in Vegas [after a 3-1 loss Tuesday that eliminated the Oilers from playoff contention], but I'd be a complete loser if I wasn't frustrated. It's frustrating personally, it's frustrating as a group; we want to be in playoffs, we want to be competing late in the season, but it's not where we're at.

"We have some stuff to figure out; that's not rubbing anybody's nose in anything, that's just simply the facts and we're going to get it right. (Oilers CEO) Bob [Nicholson] is on a mission to right the ship here and he's confident he will. Bob and I talked just briefly. My message is let's get this right, let's fix this. It doesn't matter what happens, let's just get this right."

McDavid's injury Saturday was similar to one on a play during his rookie season in 2015-16, when he broke his left collarbone crashing into the end boards against the Philadelphia Flyers. McDavid missed 37 games because of the injury.

Giordano was assessed a tripping penalty on the play, and McDavid said he was apologetic after the game.

"I've never had a lower-body injury before, it's something new for me," McDavid said. "We still don't know too much. Things look fairly positive right now. We haven't had a picture in there (MRI), so we'll see. It's the same type of play as the last time where I'm just trying to make a play on the net and I got tripped up. But you can't fault Giordano for trying to make a play on the puck.

"I spoke to him after the game; he came around and was really nice. He just said he felt bad, and I appreciate that. He was just trying to make a play on the puck."

Despite the injury, McDavid said he will not change how he plays and will continue to drive hard to the net. McDavid was clocked by CBC, which televised the game, at more than 26 mph on the rush down right wing before he was tripped by Giordano.

"They pay me $100 million to play my game," McDavid said. "Part of my game is beating guys wide and going to the net. I'll have to give my money back if I stop doing that, so I'm not going to stop doing that."

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