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A day after being curb-stomped by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Edmonton Oilers looked well on their way to restoring their emotional well-being with a feel-good Sunday afternoon in Ottawa.

Connor McDavid had a pair of assists for a career-high 91, moving to within striking distance of Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr as the only players to ever hit 100 in a season.

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And Zach Hyman’s power play marker early in the second period to make it 3-1 Oilers gained him entry into the coveted 50-goal club, joining Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Leon Draisaitl, Glenn Anderson, McDavid and Mark Messier to ever make it.

Edmonton had the lead, the milestones were being checked off and they were just 36 minutes away from washing the taste of that Toronto game right out of their mouths.

All was right with the world.

Then came the last 36 minutes, and the sour taste was back, opening the debate over which is worse, falling behind 5-0 to the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada or giving up four-straight goals and losing 5-3 to the 27th place Senators?

It was the third straight game against one of the league’s weaker teams in which the Oilers couldn’t find any separation through 40 minutes. They were tied 3-3 with 23rd-place Buffalo and tied 2-2 with 28th place Montreal.

They got away with it against the Sabres and Canadiens, but the Senators made them pay.

Not that the Oilers didn’t deserve better — the shots were 31-12 for Edmonton after 40 minutes — but it was still 3-3.

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And with the shots 35-14 at 16:57 of the third period, it was 4-3 Ottawa after the Senators connected on their third power play goal of the day. An empty netter makes it 10 goals against in back-to-back losses in Ontario.

The stunning loss takes a lot of the shine off of Hyman’s outstanding accomplishment. There was some online grousing when he signed his contract in Edmonton, but those voices are dead silent now, with Hyman scoring 113 goals in 222 games over three seasons with the Oilers.

LATE HITS — The Oilers were without winger Evander Kane, who sat out for a “maintenance” day.

E-mail: rtychkowski@postmedia.com

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