Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid sprinted to a 100-point NHL season and joined elite company with a goal and three assists Saturday in a 4-3 win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
McDavid collected his 97th to 100th point before the end of the second period of his 53rd game.
The 24-year-old became the ninth player in NHL history — and the first in his own lifetime — to reach the century-point mark in 53 games or less, according to NHL statisticians.
McDavid is the first player since Mario Lemieux (38 games) and teammate Jaromir Jagr (52) in 1995-96 to get to 100 points in 53 games or fewer.
With the fourth 100-point season of his career, McDavid became the third active player with at least four before age 25 alongside Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.
Wayne Gretzky holds the record for the most under-25 century seasons with seven.
"Those are the game's best players of all time," McDavid said. "It's special to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys.
"As for my game, just been focusing on trying to be prepared each and every night. I think obviously team success comes first. Our team has been able to play some good hockey most of the season with the exception of the first month.
"When the team is playing well, that's when individuals are having success. You're seeing lots of guys on our team have some really good seasons."
McDavid tops the NHL's scoring race with 32 goals and 68 assists. Edmonton has three games remaining in the regular season.
The captain wasn't the only Oiler hitting benchmarks Saturday at Rogers Place.
McDavid assisted on both Leon Draisaitl goals to give the German 30 for the season and 500 points for his career.
"It's hard to compare eras, it's hard to compare generations," Draisaitl said. "The game has changed.
"Whatever those guys did in the past is impressive. What Connor's doing is impressive. He's right up there with those guys.
"It's a very special night, mostly for him of course, but for us as teammates to be part of it. You can sense early on he had his legs and he obviously wanted to do it on a Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada.
"He's the best player in the world, so it's fun to be a part of."
Jesse Puljujarvi also scored for Edmonton (33-18-2). Defenceman Darnell Nurse had a pair of assists and goalie Mike Smith made 22 saves for the win.
The Oilers will finish second in the North Division behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, who clinched top spot with a 3-2 win earlier Saturday over the Montreal Canadiens.
J.T. Miller, Travis Boyd and Tyler Graovac scored for the Canucks (20-26-3), who are 2-8 in their last 10 games and rank at the bottom of the division.
Thatcher Demko had 30 saves in the loss in the fourth game in six days for both clubs. The Canucks were held scoreless on five power-play chances while the Oilers went 2-for-5.
"We're not clicking right now. I don't want to dive into it more than that. We're not on the same page," Miller said.
"It's rough right now. We're going to work hard to try and get out of it. We need to raise the level of our game when we have a man advantage."
The Oilers are 6-3 in the season series against the Canucks with a game remaining Saturday in Edmonton's regular-season finale.
McDavid assisted on both Draisaitl power-play goals in the second period.
Draisaitl's second on a two-man advantage with 40 seconds remaining in the period gave Edmonton a 4-3 lead heading into the third.
McDavid and James Neal set up Draisaitl's first at 12:27 of the second to make it 3-2 for the Oilers, but Vancouver's Graovac countered less than two minutes later to knot the score.
Trailing by two goals midway through the second, the Canucks scored twice in a span of two minutes 28 seconds to draw even.
Boyd collected his first as a Canuck at 11:40, banging a loose puck by Smith. Miller halved Vancouver's deficit on a breakaway at 9:12.
Puljujarvi scored at 6:54 from the slot off the rush with McDavid, who snared a loose puck in the neutral zone and raced it into Vancouver's end.
Oilers coach Dave Tippett challenged a Quinn Hughes goal for offside early in the second period and got that decision from officials.
Edmonton's No. 97 produced his 97th point just 45 seconds after the opening faceoff. McDavid's wrist shot deflected off the leg of Vancouver defenceman Alex Edler and by Demko.
Notes: Canucks forward Zack MacEwen served a one-game suspension Saturday for kneeing Edmonton's Nurse on Thursday . . . McDavid has four goals and 12 assists in his last five games . . . Draisaitl has six goals and six assists in his last five.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2021.
The Canadian Press