Oilers’ Zach Hyman scores his 50th goal of season in loss to Senators

Heading into the weekend, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Edmonton Oilers winger Zach Hyman scored his 50th goal — and it happened in Ottawa on Sunday.

After scoring for the 49th time in the third period of a loss in Toronto — his former team — on Saturday, Hyman reached the half-century mark in arguably the most appropriate way possible.

With the Oilers on a power play in the second period, Hyman stationed himself to the side of the net — just to the right of Senators goaltender Joonas Korpisalo — immediately after the Oilers won a faceoff. The puck was worked back to defenseman Evan Bouchard, who found captain Connor McDavid on the right flank. McDavid quickly zipped a pass to Hyman for a tap-in — his fourth goal in his last three games.

Just like that, Hyman became a 50-goal scorer for the first time in his NHL career. It was McDavid’s 91st assist of the season as he closes in on 100 helpers.

“It was fitting Connor found me on the back side,” Hyman told Sportsnet host Gene Principe during the second intermission. “We run that play a lot. I figured it was going to be him with an assist on it.”

Leon Draisaitl was the first to embrace Hyman, who raised his arms in celebration after the goal was scored. Draisaitl hugged him, followed by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Bouchard, while McDavid went to get the historic puck.

The combination of Hyman’s age (31), draft spot (No. 123 in the fifth round in 2010) and limited past scoring (his personal best for goals was 36 last season) make him one of the most unlikely 50-goal getters in NHL history.



Why Oilers’ Zach Hyman might be the NHL’s most unlikely 50-goal scorer ever

Before he signed a seven-year, $5.5 million average annual deal with the Oilers in the 2021 offseason, his career-high for goals in a season was 21 with the Maple Leafs.

“If you stick with it and are always positive, things tend to go your way,” Hyman told Principe. “Just work hard and I hope it’s a good lesson out there for all the kids who aren’t the best and are just out there working hard.”

Hyman’s goal put the Oilers up 3-1, but they lost 5-3 to the Senators — their second defeat in as many nights — to fall to 42-23-4 on the season.

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(Photo: Chris Tanouye / Freestyle Photography / Getty Images)

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