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McDavid, Kane each score twice as Oilers beat Avalanche to clinch playoffs

Edmonton Oilers Celebrate Edmonton Oilers Celebrate - The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid and Evander Kane each scored a pair of goals as the Edmonton Oilers clinched a playoff spot with a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Corey Perry and Mattias Ekholm also scored for the Oilers (46-24-5), who ended a two-game losing skid and improved to 9-0-1 in their last 10 games at home.

Jonathan Drouin and Ross Colton replied for the Avalanche (48-23-6), who have lost four of their last six.

Edmonton got off to a hot start with a goal coming just 1:52 into the opening period when Perry tipped a Darnell Nurse shot past Avalanche goalie Alexander Georgiev for his 11th of the season.

The Avs tied it with eight minutes left in the first period as Nathan MacKinnon spotted Drouin in the slot and he beat Oilers starter Stuart Skinner glove side for his 18th goal of the campaign.

Colorado surged in front four minutes later as a hard-skating Colton was able to squeeze past Edmonton defender Ekholm on the boards and cut in front before scoring his 16th of the season stick-side past Skinner. Cale Makar’s assist gave him 83 points and moved him past Steve Duchesne for the second-most by a defenceman in that category in franchise history.

The Oilers made it 2-2 with 2:42 to play in the first as a shot caromed to McDavid behind the net and he was able to bank it off the skate of defender Devon Toews and into the net for his 30th goal. It's the eighth consecutive season he has hit the milestone.

Leon Draisaitl picked up an assist to hit the 100-point mark for the fifth time in his career.

The Avalanche had some cause for concern early in the second period as Ekholm hit Mikko Rantanen hard along the boards. The Colorado forward, who has 102 points this season, left the game looking wobbly and did not return.

Edmonton moved back in front at 8:55 when Ekholm put a puck on net and the rebound hit a defender and went into the Colorado net for his 10th of the season. The play survived a video review for goaltender interference.

Edmonton scored with two seconds to play in the frame as a Ryan McLeod shot dropped out of Georgiev’s glove and hit Kane and went in. The goal, his 22nd of the season, snapped a 21-game scoreless drought for Kane.

The Oilers padded their lead four minutes into the third period as Evan Bouchard made a deft pass back to McDavid and he directed it in for his second of the contest.

Kane picked up his second goal of the game with eight minutes remaining, banking it in off of traffic in front.


It was the second of three meetings between the two talented teams, with the final one taking place in Denver to close out regular season play on April 18. Colorado scored in the last second of overtime to win 3-2 on March 16 in the first game, also in Edmonton. Last season all three games went to overtime. Colorado swept Edmonton in the third round of the playoffs in 2022 on their way to winning the Stanley Cup. ... The Avalanche got a pair of players back as Valeri Nichushkin (lower body) returned after missing the last four games and Yakov Trenin (undisclosed) rejoined the lineup after missing two games. Forward Chris Wagner was assigned to Colorado of the American Hockey League. … Nominations for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy — awarded annually by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey — were released Friday. Drouin got the nod for the Avs and Vincent Desharnais was singled out for the Oilers. … Draisaitl hit the 500 career assist mark.


Avalanche: Begin a three-game homestand against the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

Oilers: Will travel to Calgary to face the rival Flames on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2024.