Edmonton Oilers' Philip Broberg (86), Connor McDavid (97) and Kailer Yamamoto (56) celebrate after a goal against the New York Islanders during first-period NHL hockey game action in Edmonton, Alberta, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
EDMONTON, Alberta — Connor McDavid set up power-play and short-handed goals in the first period to reach 500 career assists in the Edmonton Oilers’ 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
McDavid reached 500 assists in 527 games. Only five players in NHL history have done it faster — Wayne Gretzky (352), Mario Lemieux (433), Peter Stastny (507) and Bobby Orr (522).
Jack Campbell made 20 saves to help the Oilers (21-17-2) end a two-game losing streak and five-game home slide.
“We controlled the game right from the drop of the puck and were able to finish it out. It was a good team win,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “We have a lot of really proud people in our dressing room and I saw them come together and play hard for each other.”
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and his 400th assist, Kailer Yamamoto, Dylan Holloway and Zach Hyman also scored and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists.
“It was nice to get a win at home,” Hyman said. “It had been a little while, too long for us. We started off really well and made an emphasis on playing a full 60.”
Mathew Barzal and Cal Clutterbuck scored for New York and Ilya Sorokin stopped 34 shots. The Islanders have dropped two of three to fall to 22-16-2.
“We got off to a bad start and they came at us and we were unable to get going north,” Islanders defenceman Ryan Pulock said. “It’s just a matter of bearing down, it’s a matter of everybody individually having themselves ready to go and play the right way, the way that we play. When we don’t do that, we don’t have a lot of success.”
Draisaitl opened the scoring midway through the first on a power play. McDavid sent the puck across to Draisaitl for a one-timer past the stick-less Sorokin.
Yamamoto made it 2-0 with 1:20 left in the period with a short-handed goal. McDavid passed to Yamamoto, who waited for defenseman Noah Dobson to go down before beating Sorokin through the legs. That gave McDavid assist No. 500 with his 42nd of the season.
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