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game recap

Oilers clinch playoff berth, McDavid at 91 points in win against Canucks

Edmonton secures spot for second straight season; center passes 30 goals

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

McDavid's 90th point

EDM@VAN: McDavid wires home a wrister for 30th goal

Connor McDavid buries a wrist shot that trickles past Braden Holtby and into twine, his 30th goal of the season gives the Oilers a 3-1 lead

  • 00:46 •

VANCOUVER -- The Edmonton Oilers clinched a Stanley Cup Playoff berth, and Connor McDavid scored four points in a 5-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Monday.

"Your first goal every season is to play in the playoffs," McDavid said. "That's step one, and we've been able to do that. Now we just need to continue working on our game and pay attention to details and get ready for the playoffs."

McDavid had two goals and two assists, and leads the NHL with 91 points (31 goals, 60 assists) in 50 games. He is on pace to score 101 points this season and has scored at least three points in six of the past seven games. McDavid is the third player in NHL history with 30 goals and 60 assists in 50 games or fewer, joining Wayne Gretzky (nine times) and Mario Lemieux (five times).

"I'm trying to play the best that I can and make sure my game is where it needs to be heading into the playoffs," McDavid said. "It's a number. If I get [100 points], great, if not, it's not the end of the world either. The most important thing is making sure our team is gearing up for the playoffs and [firing] on all cylinders when we get there."

Jesse Puljujarvi had a goal and an assist, and Mikko Koskinen made 20 saves for the Oilers (31-17-2), who have won four of five. They clinched a playoff berth in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001. 

"It's the first step. We've given ourselves a chance at it now," Edmonton defenseman Tyson Barrie said. "It's nice to get that 'X' next to your name and kind of get that out of the way. Now we've got a shot to win the Stanley Cup."

J.T. Miller has a goal and an assist for the Canucks (19-24-3), who have lost five in a row. Braden Holtby made 27 saves.

"We're not playing bad; we're doing good things, but we need to do more if we want to win against these teams in the playoffs," Miller said. "They're playoff-ready. These games are hard. We take a lot of pride in playing well, competing in these games, and we had our looks. We had our chances, but just a couple mistakes obviously cost us."

It was the first of four straight games between the teams. They play again here Tuesday, and then in Edmonton on Thursday and Saturday.

The Oilers are eight points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for first place in the Scotia North Division with two games in hand, and seven points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens for second place. Vancouver is last in the seven-team North, 16 points behind the Jets and Canadiens, who have each played five more games.

Puljujarvi gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 3:41 of the first period when he scored off a pass from McDavid.

Video: EDM@VAN: Puljujarvi buries the feed from McDavid

Nate Schmidt tied it 1-1 at 13:04, but Barrie put Edmonton ahead 2-1 18 seconds into the second period.

McDavid made it 3-1 when he scored unassisted on a solo rush at 16:35 after a turnover in the neutral zone.

"Against a team like this, especially against a line like that that's going really well, turnovers will kill you," Schmidt said. "Give good players time and space, they're going to make plays."

Miller scored on a breakaway to make it 3-2 at 17:16, but Dominik Kahun converted a cross-ice pass off the rush with 45 seconds left in the second to give the Oilers a 4-2 lead.

Brock Boeser scored at 16:33 of the third with Holtby pulled for an extra attacker to make it 4-3, but McDavid scored into an empty net with 1:00 left for the 5-3 final.

Video: EDM@VAN: McDavid seals win with empty-netter

It's the sixth time McDavid has scored at least four points in a game this season.

"It's been impressive to watch this year and fun to be a part of," Barrie said.

NOTES: Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira had five hits in 13:40 in his return after missing five games because of an upper-body injury. ... Canucks center Brandon Sutter was out with an upper-body injury sustained against the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Video: McDavid's four points propel Oilers to playoff berth

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