May 27th, 2024

Edmonton captain McDavid set to return from injury as Oilers welcome Sharks

By Steven Sandor, The Canadian Press on April 15, 2024.

Minnesota Wild's Mats Zuccarello (36) and Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) battle for the puck during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Friday February 23, 2024. McDavid's quest to become the fourth player in NHL history to record 100 assists in a season was set to resume Monday night.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Connor McDavid’s quest to become the fourth player in NHL history to record 100 assists in a season was set to resume Monday night.

The Oilers said McDavid would be in the lineup for the their game against the visiting San Jose Sharks after Edmonton’s captain missed three games with a nagging lower-body injury.

The Oilers went 1-1-1 in that span.

Edmonton entered the game second in the Pacific Division, five points behind the Vancouver Canucks.

The Oilers entered the week with three games left on the season, while the Canucks have two. Vancouver, which was idle Monday, would clinch the Pacific with an Edmonton loss.

McDavid has 31 goals and 99 helpers this season.

“It’s a balance of making sure you’re ready to play and making sure your game is where it needs to be,” McDavid said after Monday’s morning skate at Rogers Place.

He said that shutting himself down for the rest of the regular season, then coming back for Game 1 of the playoffs, would not have been the right thing to do.

“Going 20-plus days between games is not really an option for me.”

As for joining Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux in the very small 100-assist club, McDavid said the milestone is really nothing but a number.

“It’s another nice number, a round number, everybody likes that, it’d be nice.”

Adam Henrique, acquired from Anaheim at the trade deadline, will be elevated to the top line to play with McDavid.

“I’ll do what I can to help out,” Henrique said of McDavid’s quest for 100. “It’s a pretty special thing. Coming up to it, with him being out the last week or so, just want to get back in the flow, and getting his game back where he wants be in the playoffs.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2024.

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