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Connor McDavid's five-point night propels Oilers to 8-2 thumping of Ducks

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid has his swagger back. McDavid had a goal and four assists for nine points in his last two games as the Edmonton Oilers thrashed the Anaheim Ducks 8-2 on Sunday.
Anaheim Ducks' Frank Vatrano (77) is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner (74) during first period NHL action in Edmonton on Sunday November 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid has his swagger back.

McDavid had a goal and four assists for nine points in his last two games as the Edmonton Oilers thrashed the Anaheim Ducks 8-2 on Sunday.

In the span of a week, McDavid jumped from 108th in the NHL's scoring race with 13 points into a tie for 13th with 25 points.

"Confidence is obviously a big part of it,” said Edmonton's captain, who has led the NHL in scoring the last three years and five times in his career. “Our whole team is playing better and I think that's why you're seeing guys start to have success."

"It's not just a light switch that one guy or two guys can just turn on. It takes a whole group and I thought our group has been playing better of late and you are starting to see guys have a little bit of success.”

McDavid's five-point game was the ninth of his career and the most of any active NHL player.

Zach Hyman had two goals and an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Evander Kane, James Hamblin, Leon Draisaitl and Mattias Ekholm also scored for the Oilers (7-12-1) who have won two straight but are still second-last in the Pacific Division.

Hyman felt it was only a matter of time before McDavid started owning the scoresheets again.

“It's not surprising,” Hyman said. “You look how far away he was from everybody the last couple of years. Everybody goes through stretches like this. It just happened to be at the beginning of the year. When that happens you start to think “Oh, what is happening?’ And it wasn’t just him. It was the whole team. It's everybody.

"It's been a good couple games here, but we've got to keep building and we're still behind the 8-ball."

Edmonton starter Stuart Skinner stopped 21 shots for the victory.

Max Jones responded with a pair of goals for the Ducks (9-12-0) who have lost six in a row.

“It’s terrible to be on the losing side of an 8-2 game, but talking to (general manager) Pat Verbeek afterwards, a lot of or guys are not used to seeing McDavid or Draisaitl, and the team’s fast, so we’ll learn from it,” said Ducks head coach Greg Cronin. “We’re on a bit of a losing streak. We've got to figure out a way to get out of it.”

Anaheim starter Lukas Dostal was replaced by John Gibson in the second period after Edmonton scored six goals on 16 shots. Gibson stopped eight of 10 shots.

Three goals were scored on the game's first five shots on net and the Oilers led 4-2 after the opening period.

The Ducks struck just three-and-a-half minutes into the contest on Jones' first goal. Edmonton responded just over a minute later on its first shot of the game. Connor Brown sent a backhand pass across to Kane to score his 10th of the season.

Brown’s point was his first in his 14th game as an Oiler after signing as a free agent over the summer.

But the Ducks quickly regained the lead at 6:10 when Jones in the slot spun and shot while falling down for his second of the game.

The Oilers drew even midway through a frantic first period. McDavid elected to shoot on a three-on-one for his seventh goal of the season.

Edmonton led 3-2 at 12:37 when Nugent-Hopkins took Darnell Nurse's stretch pass in on a breakaway to beat Dostal low blocker side.

With two minutes remaining in the period, McDavid dished to Hyman at the bottom of the circle for a one-timer and Hyman's 11th of the season.

Hamblin put his own rebound by Dostal five minutes into the second period for his second career NHL goal. Hyman scored his second of the game at 7:20 with a breakaway backhand, which ended Dostal's night.

NOTES: The Oilers started a stretch of eight of nine games at home . . .Anaheim opted to healthy scratch 2023 second-overall pick Leo Carlsson… The Ducks came into the game outscored a combined 22-9 in five previous games.


The Ducks conclude a two-game road trip Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2023.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press