- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Cam Talbot is living up to expectations in his first season in Edmonton.

Talbot made 40 saves for his third shutout of the season, leading the Oilers to a 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.

“Every time there was a chance, he was there to answer,” Oilers forward Jordan Eberle said. “If there’s a mistake, it’s not always in the back of your net. In the latter part of the season, he’s been the hero in most of the games.”

Talbot, acquired from the New York Rangers at last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, said his comfort level is at an all-time high.

“I feel more confident than I have pretty much my whole career, giving the guys a chance to win,” he said. “And they’ve been playing some pretty solid hockey in front of me.”

Oilers coach Todd McLellan said that wasn’t the case for the majority of Friday’s matchup.

“There was not a lot of support,” he said. “There would be one man and four guys watching. As a result, we played in our own end a lot and didn’t have the puck much and our goaltender needed to be superb and he was.”

Eberle and Matt Hendricks scored for the Oilers, who have won two in a row and seven of their last 11. Talbot has 11 career shutouts.

Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 of 25 shots for the Canucks, who have lost three in a row.

“I thought we had some really good chances to score, but with 40 shots, we should have created some more grade-A chances,” Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin said. “It was a good game chance-wise for us, but with the amount of puck possession we had, I think we should have created more traffic in front of him.”

It appeared Vancouver might have gotten a goal five minutes into the second period as a puck slipped under Talbot while defenseman Darnell Nurse and the Canucks’ Brendan Gaunce crashed into the net. It didn’t count after a video review showed the incidental contact with Talbot.

The Oilers broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second period when Connor McDavid fed it to Eberle, whose quick wrister seemed to handcuff Markstrom.

Vancouver came close to tying the game 30 seconds into the third, but Christopher Tanev rang a shot off the post.

The Oilers made it 2-0 six minutes into the third when Hendricks pounced on a rebound in front of the net to score his fourth of the season.

NOTES: The Canucks return home to face the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, while the Oilers close out their current homestand against Colorado on Sunday. … It was the third meeting of the season between the teams, with each recording a 2-1 victory in overtime in the previous encounters. The Canucks and Oilers face off twice more this season. … Out with injuries for the Canucks were Alex Biega (upper body), Markus Granlund (upper body), Luca Sbisa (upper body), Yannick Weber (upper body), Jannik Hansen (ribs), Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alexander Edler (fractured tibia) and Derek Dorsett (upper body). … Absent from the Oilers’ lineup were Oscar Klefbom (foot), Andrew Ference (hip), Brandon Davidson (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), Eric Gryba (knee) and Adam Pardy (hand).

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide