SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Connor McDavid became the first player in 27 years to reach 150 points in an NHL season when he had two goals and an assist in the Edmonton Oilers’ 6-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
McDavid set up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins early in the first period for his 87th assist and scored with 1:44 left in the first period for his 63rd goal to reach the milestone last achieved by Mario Lemieux when he scored 161 points in 1995-96.
McDavid added another goal late in the third period to give him 64 goals and 151 points with two games remaining in the regular season.
McDavid became just the sixth player ever to record 150 points in a season, joining Wayne Gretzky (nine times), Lemieux (four times), Phil Esposito, Steve Yzerman and Bernie Nicholls.
Zach Hyman, Derek Ryan and Philip Broberg also scored to help the Oilers win their seventh straight game. Edmonton, which began the day three points ahead of third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division, closed in on clinching home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Stuart Skinner made 22 saves.
Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks, who are assured of finishing in the bottom four of the league. James Reimer had 30 saves.
The biggest drama in the game was the milestone quest for McDavid and Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson, who needed two points to become the first defenceman with at least 100 in a season since Brian Leetch in 1991-92.
While Karlsson remained stuck on 98 points, McDavid took little time to get his mark. He made a great move to the net early in the first period. The rebound went to Nugent-Hopkins, who scored his 37th goal of the season.
Then late in the first period a rebound of Warren Foegele’s shot went right to McDavid, who knocked it in for the milestone goal to make it 2-1.
The Oilers poured it on from there and cruised to the win.
McDavid’s milestone day was capped with a video tribute in the Oilers locker room with congratulatory messages from the other members of the 150-point club all welcoming the newest member.
“I haven’t put a ton of thought into it,” McDavid said about his latest milestone. “The guys kind of put a little video together of all the other five guys that have done it. It kind of hit me. That was special. To hear from all five was amazing.”
McDavid has two games remaining in the regular season to improve on his point total.
“A special player joined an elite group of players in the history of the game,” coach Jay Woodcroft said. “Obviously what drives him is making sure that the team wins. That’s a big reason why we won today.”
The Shark Tank has been unkind to the home team this season with San Jose just 8-21-11 in their own building. The eight home wins are the fewest in an 82-game season in the shootout era that began in 2005-06.
The last team with that few home wins in a full season was Florida in 2002-03. The Panthers won eight home games that year but did have seven ties.
With Cody Ceci back home for the birth of his first child, the Oilers called up 34-year-old D Jason Demers for his first NHL game of the season. Demers, who began his career in San Jose, played in his 700th career game.
Demers had a turnover in his own zone to set up Hertl’s goal in the first period that tied the game at one.
Sharks defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return.
Oilers: At Colorado on Tuesday night.
Sharks: At Winnipeg on Monday night.
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Josh Dubow, The Associated Press