Struggling Ducks fall to Connor McDavid, Oilers

Struggling Ducks fall to Connor McDavid, Oilers

ANAHEIM — Ducks icon Teemu Selanne felt moved to tweet after yet another dazzling Connor McDavid goal on Wednesday night:

“Ladies and gentlemen Connor McDavid show in Anaheim. Wow … never seen (a) player like this.”

It was more of a reaffirmation than a verdict from the Hall of Famer.

McDavid had a goal and added an assist in the first period to lead the Edmonton Oilers, who went on to beat the Ducks, 6-2, at Honda Center. The assist was a no-look pass, setting up rookie Dylan Holloway and the goal was even more eye-popping, a spin move leaving Trevor Zegras in the dust and McDavid finishing it off with a backhander, putting the Oilers ahead 3-1 at 10: 23. It was McDavid’s league-leading 35th goal of the season.

The Oilers led 4-1 after one period and extended their lead to 6-1 after two. Klim Kostin scored twice, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist and defenseman Evan Bouchard added two assists.

Ducks backup goalie Anthony Stolarz replaced starter John Gibson for the third period, a frequent move by the Ducks. Gibson faced 37 shots and allowed six goals. Stolarz has come in to relieve Gibson seven times this season. The Oilers finished with 53 shots on goal.

The Ducks (12-26-4) opened the second half of the season in much the same way they closed the first half against the top-ranked Boston Bruins – losing a lopsided game. They’ve been outscored a combined 13-3 in the past two games.

Forward Sam Carrick (third of the season) and defenseman Simon Benoit scored for the Ducks in the first period and third period, respectively. It was Benoit’s first goal with the Ducks and the second in his 97-game NHL career.

The Oilers went 1 for 3 on the power play with Leon Draisaitl putting the Oilers ahead 6-1 late in the second period, just five seconds into the man advantage with a between-the-legs goal, redirecting a pass from Bouchard. Edmonton went 0 for 6 on the man advantage against the Kings in their last game and it was almost a foregone conclusion that it wouldn’t happen again with the league’s top-rated power play.

More to come on this story.