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Connor McDavid breezes past 100 points

Oilers captain reaches milestone in 92 games, feels he's just getting started

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

EDMONTON -- Just like he flies around NHL rinks, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid breezed past 100 NHL points Wednesday.

McDavid scored the game-winning goal with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime and had two first-period assists to help the Oilers defeat the Florida Panthers 4-3. He now has 102 points in the NHL.

The first pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, McDavid passed the 100-point mark in 92 games. He's the third-fastest player to 100 points in Oilers history, behind NHL all-time leading scorer Wayne Gretzky, who did it in 61 games, and Blair MacDonald, who did it in 85.

Three active players have reached 100 points faster than McDavid: Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (77), and Pittsburgh Penguins centers Sidney Crosby (80) and Evgeni Malkin (89).

"I guess it's nice but it's not much of a milestone," said McDavid after helping the Oilers to their fourth straight victory. "I definitely hope to keep going."

He tried to downplay his accomplishment, making a reference to Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr, who is second on the League's all-time list with 1,896 points. Jagr had one assist Wednesday.

"It's tough to be excited about that [100 points] when you see a guy like that [Jagr] coming in and you see all the numbers he's got," McDavid said.

Video: FLA@EDM: McDavid shows off quick hands for OT win

McDavid did concede that passing 100 points in fewer than 100 games was something.

"It's good, but I have high expectations on myself and I believe I can produce in this League and I definitely want to keep going," he said.

McDavid, who will captain the Pacific Division team at the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles on Jan. 28-29, has produced consistently this season.

He leads the League with 54 points in 47 games, four more than Crosby and Malkin. McDavid has not gone more than two consecutive games without a point.

McDavid began his big night Wednesday by intercepting an ill-conceived diagonal pass through the neutral zone by Florida defenseman Mark Pysyk. He gained the offensive zone with speed and got point No. 100 by sending a pass to the edge of the crease for Zack Kassian, who broke a run of 37 games without a goal.

At the start of an Edmonton power play later in the first period, McDavid pass into the slot was deflected in by Mark Letestu.

"It's just going to the right areas," Letestu said. "Even on that play, I'm not really trying to shoot it in, I'm just trying to give [McDavid] skates and sticks there because he has that knack for threading needles. On our first two goals he threads great passes.

"And I've heard [Patrick Maroon, McDavid's 5-on-5 linemate] talk about it, that you just have to be ready on the ice at all times because he sees the game at a speed that the rest of us don't. That's what makes him special."

Video: FLA@EDM: McDavid notches 100th NHL point with assist

McDavid's career point No. 102 brought the Rogers Place fans out of their seats.

He took a breakaway pass from Leon Draisaitl and scored with a deke on Florida goalie James Reimer with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime.

The play went to a video review that determined the puck was in Reimer's catching glove but was behind the goal line.

McDavid's goal came at the end of an overtime shift that lasted 2 minutes, 8 seconds for him and Draisaitl.

"We'd been out there a long time," McDavid said. "I saw they kind of had three guys below the tops of the circles and Leon had the puck with all kinds of time. And usually when he does that he's going to make a sweet pass and he definitely did that."

Passing the 100-point milestone in fewer than 100 games is significant, Oilers coach Todd McLellan said.

"With Connor, it almost gets old talking about it and it shouldn't because he's [20] years old and he's doing what he does," McLellan said. "He rises to the occasion in overtime, he has a couple of [assists] tonight.

"I think when you get to that point where you're scoring a point a game or more at this level, regardless of how many years you've been in the League, you've arrived and you're one of the top players."

Letestu, 31, is a veteran of 444 NHL games. He signed with the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent five days after McDavid was drafted and has seen him progress quickly through his first 100 NHL points.

Reaching the milestone in 92 games validates McDavid's place as one of the League's top players, Letestu said.

Video: McDavid tallies his 100th point, Pavelec paddle

"Recently guys are winning scoring titles under 100 points, under 90 points even," Letestu said. "I think it shows at a young age that he has that elite offensive talent.

"And we think there's room to grow for him. He's going to get stronger, he just turned 20, and he's going to get smarter. Defenses are going to adjust to him and I think he's smart enough to make adjustments to produce at the rate he is."

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