Connor McDavid made his first major impact for the Edmonton Oilers in his first meeting with the Calgary Flames two weeks ago.
He hasn’t let up since.
McDavid tries to extend his point streak to eight games and help the Oilers end their six-game home slide against the Flames on Saturday night.
McDavid mustered one goal and was a minus-5 through his first four games in the NHL after being drafted first overall last summer. The center followed that slow start by scoring two goals and assisting on another in a 5-2 win at Calgary on Oct. 17, ending Edmonton’s seven-game losing streak to the rival Flames.
That kicked off McDavid’s seven-game streak, during which he has four goals and seven assists. He ranks among the league leaders with 12 points.
He’s the first Oilers rookie to put together a streak that long since Sam Gagner’s nine-game run in September 2008.
McDavid had assists on two of Edmonton’s three third-period goals in Thursday’s 4-3 come-from-behind win over league-leading Montreal. Leon Draisaitl upstaged him with a pair of goals, including one with 62 seconds left in regulation, hours after being called up from Bakersfield of the AHL to make his season debut.
Defenseman Darnell Nurse has also made an immediate impact with one goal and one assist in his first two games of 2015-16.
Draisaitl and Nurse – first round picks in 2014 and ’13 – are trying to prove they’re worthy of staying with the Oilers. Draisaitl struggled last season, tallying just two goals and nine points with a minus-17 rating in 37 games.
"It would be weird if we would (want to go back), right?" Draisaitl said. "I think both of us want to stay here. We want to be here and we want to eventually play here and win championships here. I think this is a good time for us to show what we can do to improve."
There is plenty of room for improvement for the Flames (2-8-1), who have yet to win in regulation and have dropped four straight for the second time this season.
They’re also surrendering a league-worst 4.09 goals per game after Friday’s 6-2 loss to the Canadiens.
"We’re giving up too many goals, way too many," defenseman Kris Russell said. "It comes down to individual efforts, I’ve got to be better, I don’t look past that. I’m on for way too many goals and I’m not helping my team."
It’s unclear if Joni Ortio will be back in net after making 25 saves Friday. Calgary could opt for Karri Ramo, who was recalled from Stockton of the AHL to back up Ortio since starter Jonas Hiller is out with a lower-body injury.
Ramo has lost all three of his starts this season behind a 4.38 goals-against average. He’s 2-1-0 with a 2.34 GAA in four career meetings with the Oilers – all in Edmonton – injuring his leg after 58 seconds in a 4-0 victory April 4.
Johnny Gaudreau has collected seven of his team-leading 12 points in the past six games, but has gone nine straight since scoring his only goal Oct. 10.
He has no points in four straight meetings with Edmonton.