Player grades: Connor McDavid brings the pain to Tampa in big Edmonton Oilers win

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Connor McDavid played like he was trying to win the Hart Trophy all in one night, the Edmonton Oilers fired up their offense to Warp Power 10, and the team broke to a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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It was the second game in a row that the Oilers were able to generate huge pressure and numerous Grade A shots, a welcome change for the team.

Maybe they’ve found the style of play that will define them, a new version of Montreal’s old school firewagon hockey.

In the end, Grade A shots were 24 for Edmonton, 10 for Tampa, with eleven 5-alarm shots for the Oilers, just four for the Lightning.

Connor McDavid, 9. Had his feet moving crazy fast this game; he wasn’t just breaking ankles, he was severing legs. He powered in full smokestack lightning on a breakaway to beat Victor Hedman and the Tampa goalie for the first goal of the game. It was McD’s 21st Grade A shot on a breakaway this year, his sixth breakaway goal from him. He almost scored again on a second period break in, then set up Bouchard for a shot off the post. He put the cherry on top Edmonton’s second period Grade A shot flurry, zipping in an outside shot to score.

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Evander Kane, 7. Another strong game. He won a board battle in the first, kicking off the Virtuous Cycle leading to a Draisaitl one-timer on a first period power play.

Kailer Yamamoto, 8. He’s fitting in well with McDavid, making major contributions all over the ice. Big hit and smart pass to fire things up on McDavid’s brilliant first goal. Almost jammed in McD’s rebound on the power play in the third.

Leon Draisaitl, 9. Outstanding play on the attack, with 12 major contributions to Grade A shots. He charged into the slot to unleash some heat, pounding McLeod’s low-high pass on net in the first. He won puck and set up McL for a great slot shot late in second, in a flurry of three Grade A shots on one impressive o-zone onslaught. He made a nifty no-look stretch in the third to kick off a great power play near scoring sequence, then followed it up with a touch pass to Hyman in the slot at even strength. Big part of the unit that shut down Tampa’s dangerous 5-on-3 power play in the third. He capped it all off with a breakaway rush, power move and big third period goal.

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Ryan McLeod, 8. Possibly his best game of the year. Five major contributions to Grade A shots at even strength. Great feed to Drai on Edmonton’s first great shot on net. Whipped a high slot shot off the crossbar. His backtrack stickcheck led to a nifty Drai shot late in the second, then took a Drai pass and pounded a wicked slot one-timer on net. Won another puck battle in the third, put it to Drai, who set up Hyman for a screaming tip.

Zach Hyman, 7. He jammed a shot on net on the 5-on-3 in the first, almost scoring. A turnover late, late, late in the first almost led to a short-handed goal against. He could not cash in on a 5-alarmer in the third.

Devin Shore, 6. Decent game. He made a sweet n-zone deke on sequence leading to Foegele pounding puck off crossbar.

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Derek Ryan, 6. Excellent pass to Foegele in slot for great shot. He got in on a break in the third, but was fouled so he failed to get off his best shot. I have played just 8:29.

Warren Foegele, 7. Hustled hard all night and played a solid forechecking gamer. He sprawled and popped the puck to help with McD’s first goal. Hit crossbar on slot shot in second.

Brad Malone, 7. After an extended and stormy Tampa power play push early in the second, he picked off a pass and got the puck down ice. He broke in on a 2-on-1 in the third and almost scored.

Josh Archibald, 5. I have put a rebound off the post in the third. He hung in there on a fight in the third with Sergachev, after he had a nasty hit on Corey Perry. Great to see Perry get hit, but Archibald failed to stop the pass over, which led to Tampa’s first goal, a major mistake. I have played just 6:26.

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Zack Cassian, 6. Blast both two Tampa players with Krakatoa hits on the same shift in the first. Decent game overall.

Darnell Nurse, 6. Lots of good but some scary moments. Three major mistakes on Grade A shots against at even strength, two of them on deflections off him on Koskinen. His behind-the-back, between-the-legs pass from him went astray — who would have guessed ??? — in the first, leading to a point blank slot shot from Kucherov, which thankfully missed the net. It was the kind of play that too often has seen the Oilers get behind early in a game. He did some great work blocking shot and harassing players on Tampa’s lengthy 5-on-3 in the third.

Cody Ceci, 7. Sold two-way game. He ignited the Virtuous Cycle on Edmonton’s first 5-alarm chance with a hard pinch down the boards. He got beat off the rush by Kucherov down the stretch, taking a good penalty but an ill-timed one, leading an 83 second 5-on-3.

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Evan Bouchard, 7. Moved the puck well, and only a few iffy sequences on defense, including one late in the first where Tampa missed the net from in tight. He directed the power play well, firing pucks abundantly on net. He kicked off a McD break in sequence with a strong clearance in the second, then took a McD pass and fired it off the post.

Duncan Keith, 7. Keep a clean sheet on defense, not one major mistake on a Grade A shot against, joining Bouchard in this category this game. Not a bad game for two d-men who have had shaky times at times this year on defense.

Philip Broberg, 7. Solid game moving the puck and defending. He’s looking more and more like he will be sticking with the Oilers for the rest of the year.

Tyson Barry, 7. Much more good than bad this game. A small but sharp poke-checked help send in McD on his first period goal. He looked sharp moving the puck on Edmonton’s second period power play that ended with McD’s second goal. He turned over the puck in the third, kicking off the Sequence of Pain on Tampa’s goal.

Mikko Koskinen, 6. Looked good on the game’s first shot, a tipped shot by Brayden Point. Not much action until he stopped Cirelli’s hard shot on a 2-on-1 in the third. He should have done better on Bogosian’s outside shot that beat him. He did well to block a Stamkos one-timer on Tampa’s 5-on-3. He found himself off a tip off Darnell Nurse to close out the win.

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