Oilers in awe as McDavid works 'magic' again
Two weeks after scoring what may have been the NHL's goal of the season, Connor McDavid turned in a near replica on Thursday.
Just 28 seconds after the Winnipeg Jets had taken the lead with the first goal of the game, the Edmonton Oilers' captain weaved through the Jets defence before flicking a shot past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck for the game-tying goal with 5:35 to play in the third period.
That tally was enough to send the game to overtime at 1-1, and Edmonton eventually prevailed in the shoot-out as McDavid put another shot past the man who won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top net-minder two seasons ago.
Afterward, the Oilers were left to try and describe something that even players at the highest level of the sport could not quite wrap their minds around.
"It's surreal, right?" said centre Kyle Turris, who put home the clinching shot in the shoot-out. "It's the NHL -- everybody's a good player. I mean, you don't see that happen.
"He's just so fast and so quick in his movements and for him to pull things off like that in key, clutch times, that's what makes him the best in the world.
"It's a lot of fun to watch and you know it's always a possibility. So you're surprised but you're also not surprised because we see it everyday practice, too."
The rest of the world also saw it November 5 against the New York Rangers in an eerily similar situation, McDavid darting through the defence like a ghost to score the game-tying goal before Edmonton prevailed in overtime.
"He scores big goals in big times in the game and takes the game into his own hands. Not many people can do that," said Oilers winger Zach Hyman. "And it's great to score crazy goals like that, but I think it's more impressive to score them in the timely manner that he's been doing it to give our team a chance to win. Special player, obviously."
Special is one word. Team-mate Cody Ceci went with "phenomenal", while Turris called it "magic".
McDavid's 11th goal this season gave him a point in all 16 games as the Oilers sit atop the Western Conference with a 12-4-0 record.
"He can make something out of nothing," said Edmonton head coach Dave Tippett. "He's going through there and he's coming with such speed, and his agility is unbelievable. He's just hard to defend and if he can get a step on a guy he can get himself free and that's what he did today."