EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Connor McDavid clearly hasn’t given up on winning his second consecutive MVP award.
McDavid scored four times and added an assist as the Edmonton Oilers knocked off the top team in the NHL, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 on Monday night. He was the third player to score four goals in a game this season and now has 21 goals and 41 assists with 11 power-play points.
“He just has that ability to take a game over,” linemate Leon Draisaitl said. “There are very, very few players in this world who can do something like that.
“It seems like he is from another planet. It is not fair, really.”
Draisaitl and Iiro Pakarinen also scored for the Oilers, who have gone 5-1-1 in their last seven.
“Any time the No. 1 team rolls into your building, you need to be up for it and ready to go,” McDavid said. “We have laid a few eggs against teams from the East Coast and we needed to get one against an Eastern team.
“It feels good. The power play has been under the microscope for so long now. To be able to score a couple on the power play feels really good.”
Alex Killorn and Yanni Gourde replied for the Lightning, who fell to 5-3 on their eight-game trip.
McDavid opened the scoring 1:48 into the first with a power-play goal. He deftly tipped a Ryan Strome point shot past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Edmonton was 0 for 17 in their previous eight games with the man advantage
“He’s one of the best, if not the best, for a reason,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “He’s got another gear that no one has in this league, so when he gets skating, it’s tough. It’s also tough when they get a power play and his first shift of the game they score. Then they start to feel really confident.”
Tampa Bay tied it midway through the first period when Oilers defender Darnell Nurse was unable to clear a bouncing puck in front, and Killorn was able send his eighth of the season past goalie Cam Talbot.
The Oilers got another power-play goal with three minutes to play in the first, as Strome sent a pass through the crease that was sent home by Draisaitl.
Early in the second, Draisaitl made a touch pass to send in McDavid, who put the puck up high from an improbable angle.
The Oilers extended their lead with seven minutes to play in the middle period as Pakarinen elected to shoot on a two-on-one, scoring his first of the season.
Louis Domingue came in to start the third in the Tampa net, and the Lightning responded with a quick power-play goal, with Gourde chipping in his own rebound for his 19th.
McDavid got his third goal of the game and 20th of the season seven minutes into the third on a breakaway, prompting a blizzard of hats on the ice.
The Oilers captain earned his fourth goal with six minutes left. He was the last Edmonton player to touch the puck before Lightning forward Chris Kunitz inadvertently put it into his own net.
NOTES: It was the first of two meetings between the teams this season. Edmonton was the only team Tampa Bay had yet to face.
Edmonton begins a three-game road trip in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay hosts Vancouver on Thursday.
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