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game recap

McDavid at 96 points after Oilers loss to Canucks

Has three assists against Vancouver, which scores four goals on first four shots

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

Hoglander scores 31 seconds in

VAN@EDM: Hoglander gets past defender and scores

Nils Hoglander makes a move to his forehand to get by a defender before ripping the puck home to kick off the scoring 31 seconds into the 1st

  • 00:48 •

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid had three assists to increase his season total to 96 points in the Edmonton Oilers' 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place on Thursday.

McDavid leads the NHL and is on pace for 103 points in this 56-game season.

Vancouver scored on its first four shots to take a 4-0 lead 12:22 into the game.

"You play the same team four [times] in a row and they're bound to figure you out and put together a [good] game," McDavid said. "They're a competitive group over there and they're not going to just lay down and go to sleep on us. They came out and did exactly what we thought they were going to do and we didn't respond well enough."

Nils Hoglander, Travis Hamonic, Jayce Hawryluk and Brock Boeser each had a goal and assist, and Thatcher Demko made 39 saves for the Canucks (20-25-3), who ended a six-game losing streak.

"We've had a couple games where some top-end guys have taken over the game on the other team and we were not getting results," Vancouver coach Travis Green said. "But any time you're talking to a team and trying to teach and keep them confident, getting a win goes a long way. And I think tonight was an important win for our group."

Video: VAN@EDM: Rathbone buries his first NHL goal

Leon Draisaitl scored two goals for the Oilers (32-18-2), who had won three straight. Mikko Koskinen allowed four goals on four shots and was replaced by Mike Smith. Smith made 21 saves. 

Edmonton is second in the Scotia North Division, eight points behind the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs, who defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Thursday, and seven points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets. The Maple Leafs, Oilers and Jets have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with one berth remaining from the seven-team division.

Hoglander scored 31 seconds into the first period to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead. Jack Rathbone made it 2-0 at 4:43 with his first NHL goal in his second NHL game.

Hamonic made it 3-0 at 6:33 on a shot that bounced off Koskinen's blocker, and Hawryluk scored through Koskinen's pads to increase the lead to 4-0 at 12:22. 

"The first one was poor coverage, the second was a poor turnover and the third and fourth ones should have been saves from our goalie," Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. "I don't know if I've ever seen that, the first four shots go in your net, so it's a big hole to jump out of." 

Koskinen is the third NHL goalie to be pulled after giving up four goals on the first four shots he faced. It happened to Don Beaupre of the Washington Capitals in a 7-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 24, 1989, and Dan Bouchard of the Atlanta Flames in a 6-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on March 27, 1979.

"It's the start that our group needed to build some confidence through the 60 minutes and get a much-needed win tonight to break that little [losing] streak we had going," Demko said. "It happens, and I'm sure [Koskinen] will bounce back."

Draisaitl scored at 16:41 on a drop pass from McDavid on a power play to cut it to 4-1, and Jesse Puljujarvi scored on a one-timer on a pass from McDavid at 18:37 to pull Edmonton within 4-2. 

Video: VAN@EDM: Demko stones McDavid's penalty shot chance

Tyler Graovac scored at 9:42 of the second period to increase the lead to 5-2 when he banked a shot from behind the goal line off Smith's back. It was his first goal since Nov. 30, 2019.

McDavid was awarded a penalty shot at 12:44 of the third period when he was slashed on a breakaway by Tyler Myers but was stopped by Demko.

"The penalty shot, I was kind of swimming there for a second, to be honest," Demko said. "Quick hands, he's a good player, obviously everyone knows that. He has a handful of things that he can go to in a situation like that and I was just trying to be patient. I thought he had me beat there for a second. I was just trying to get a leg out and luckily got a piece of it."

Draisaitl made it 5-3 at 12:55 on a pass from Darnell Nurse before Boeser scored at 15:35 for the 6-3 final. It was Boeser's 20th goal of the season and third in three games.

"We probably needed a win like this and it's fun," Hamonic said. "As the season grinds along, it's never going to go necessarily the way you think and want. But you have to slow things down and enjoy the wins when they come your way and then reset tomorrow. It felt good, it felt like we had been grinding for a little bit and it was nice to get one."

NOTES: Draisaitl's two goals gave him 499 NHL points (196 goals, 303 assists) in 474 NHL games. … McDavid has four straight multipoint games (three goals, nine assists). He has 31 goals and 65 assists this season. Hamonic's goal was his first in 30 games with the Canucks this season.

Video: Canucks use four-goal 1st period to top Oilers, 6-3

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