McDavid, Marchand go point-for-point in Art Ross showdown

Art Ross contenders <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/6743/" data-ylk="slk:Connor McDavid">Connor McDavid</a> and <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/4351/" data-ylk="slk:Brad Marchand">Brad Marchand</a> went head-to-head in a game with playoff implications for their teams. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Art Ross contenders Connor McDavid and Brad Marchand went head-to-head in a game with playoff implications for their teams. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The latest head-to-head battle between two of the NHL’s top contenders for the Art Ross Trophy did not disappoint.

Oilers star Connor McDavid had three assists, Boston pest-turned-producer Brad Marchand had a goal and two helpers of his own, and the pair combined for six points in a wild 7-4 Edmonton victory Thursday.

The 20-year-old Oilers captain delivered the first blow in this jousting match between two of the game’s best, setting up Patrick Maroon for his second goal in less than a minute and 24th of the season with a slick backhand touch feed.

As part of an absolutely insane opening period that saw the two teams combine for six goals, Marchand added two points in a span of five minutes. First, Marchand set up David Pastrnak with a gorgeous backdoor feed, and followed it up with his league-leading 37th tally of the season after finishing off a beautiful three-way passing play started by big man Zdeno Chara.

Not to be outdone, McDavid kept pace with the surging Marchand by picking up his second helper of the night thanks to some great hand-eye coordination – and even better finish – by rookie forward Anton Slepyshev.

Marchand and McDavid each recorded two points in the first period alone,  added another assist each in the second frame and finished with three points apiece on the night. The busy night moved the pair into a share of the league lead with 79 points, two ahead of Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.

McDavid’s Oilers stole the only points that really mattered, though, as Boston sits four up on the Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic, while Edmonton is in a head-to-head battle with the rival Calgary Flames for third spot in the Pacific.

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