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McDavid motivated for marquee clash with MacKinnon

Michael Martin / National Hockey League / Getty

Saturday's clash between Connor McDavid's Edmonton Oilers and Nathan MacKinnon's Colorado Avalanche is one the reigning MVP is looking forward to.

"I'm always motivated to go up against the league's best, and he would certainly fall under that category," McDavid said of MacKinnon on Friday.

"A bunch of them would over there: (Mikko) Rantanen, (Cale) Makar, (Devon) Toews. They've got an elite group over there, and I love testing myself against those types of guys."

McDavid and MacKinnon are two consensus front-runners for the Hart Trophy but haven't faced each other yet this season. MacKinnon is considered by many to be the favorite to capture his first career MVP, as he leads the league with 115 points. McDavid, who won for the third time in his last seven seasons in 2023, currently ranks third in the scoring race at 106 points.

On top of individual brilliance from their top players, the Oilers and Avalanche enter the contest as two of the hottest teams in the NHL. Both clubs have won seven of their last 10 games, and Colorado will roll into Edmonton on a five-game winning streak.

McDavid said the matchup will be a good test for the Oilers.

"I think it's a great thing," he said. "Of course, these guys are as good as anyone in the league. It's good to test where your team's at and where your game's at against one of the league's best."

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