The Rangers and Oilers played the game of the night in the NHL on Friday. Edmonton captain Connor McDavid made the play of the night — and probably of the season.
And to write that McDavid, with his team down a goal, collected a loose puck in the offensive end, skated into the neutral zone, circled back to the red line, charged forward into the New York zone, split four Rangers skaters who had him surrounded, deked goalie Alexandar Georgiev and then slid a backhander into an open net to tie the game with just under three minutes to play in regulation undersells the moment.
Because, just look at this:
“It’s probably not the best idea to take on four guys every night, but the situation kind of was weird. Everybody was kind of coming up. I was coming down the pipe,” McDavid said.
The goal enabled Edmonton to get the game to overtime. It should surprise no one that McDavid then assisted on Leon Draisaitl’s goal 3:27 into the extra session, which gave the Oilers a 6-5 victory in a game they trailed 4-1.
It also should not be a shock that McDavid didn’t crow about being able to score 1-on-4.
MORE: McDavid made like a speed skater on this goal
“It was a nice goal. I’ve scored some nice ones in my career and that’s up there with a few of them,” he said. He did note that the game situation, plus the fact the Oilers retired Hall of Fame defenseman Kevin Lowe’s No. 4 jersey Friday at Rogers Place, made the moment feel “a little bigger than just a game in November.”
NHL POWER RANKINGS: Overreacting to early results
Teammates Zach Hyman and Darnell Nurse were willing to offer superlatives. Hyman called it the “best” goal he has seen, while Nurse — with McDavid sitting to his right — called it “probably the nicest” he has seen.
MORE: Golden Knights ace trade for Eichel
“He’s scored some pretty special goals, but the one tonight had a huge impact on the game,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said.
McDavid has collected points in all 10 of his team’s games this season (eight goals, 14 assists). His hot streak has gone hand in hand with Edmonton’s torrid start. The Oilers are 9-1-0 and leading the Pacific Division by three points over the Flames, who will host the Rangers in the “Hockey Night in Canada” nightcap Saturday. Their next game is Tuesday in Detroit against the Red Wings.