- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - The Edmonton Oilers are rolling right now and it’s not just their touted, high-flying offense making the push.

Oilers goalie Cam Talbot has been sensational to start the season and on Friday night he stopped 26 shots for his 13th career shutout in a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Talbot, who has started all eight games this season, recorded his second shutout in three games, as the Oilers won their fifth straight.

“It’s probably one of the best stretches of my career right now,” Talbot said. “I’m trying to stay focused, stay confident, and go out there and give us a chance to win every night.

“I need to go out there and make the saves I’m supposed to make and hopefully make a few I’m not supposed to make.”

Connor McDavid scored on a breakaway in the second period and Milan Lucic added an empty-netter to help the Western Conference-leading Oilers improve to 7-1-0.

Talbot’s only blemish this season was a 6-2 drubbing on Oct. 16 to Buffalo. Talbot allowed all six of those goals, but he has since rebounded impressively.

“After that game I told myself what I told myself last year: just go out there and try not to do too much, make the saves I am supposed to make, start there and then build off of that,” he said. “I did that the next night out. I am in that kind of groove right now and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Ryan Miller had 25 saves for Vancouver and fell to 12-1-1 in his career against the Oilers. The Canucks, 0-3-1 since starting the season with four wins, were shut out for the second straight game and haven’t scored since the third period against Anaheim on Sunday.

“We have to keep grinding away and get some goals,” Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. “It’s a long season. If you keep playing the same way over and over you are going to bury those (chances) sooner or later. It’s a matter of us keeping it going and not change things just because we’re not scoring right now. It’s going to come.”

A quiet first period erupted midway when Erik Gudbranson took exception to Zack Kassian’s check and traded blows with the ex-Canuck. Soon after boos rained down for local product Lucic when the hulking Oilers forward took a roughing penalty, but the Canucks squandered the power-play opportunity.

There was more end-to-end action in the second with Jannik Hansen getting a point-blank shot from the slot that Talbot turned aside. The Oilers goalie also made a spectacular glove save on Markus Granlund midway that had the large contingent of Oilers fans cheering.

McDavid got the Oilers on the scoreboard when he took a backhand pass from Lucic and wheeled past the Canucks‘ defense to slip the puck through Miller’s legs with 8:29 left in the second. It extended McDavid’s league lead in points to 12 (five goals, seven assists).

“I knew if I got it to him he was gone,” Lucic said. “I don’t care who you match up against him, with his wheels, he is going to beat most guys up the ice and he showed it tonight.”

Talbot was equally impressive early in the third as he swatted away Henrik Sedin’s slap shot. At the other end, Miller faced down McDavid on another breakaway, but this time made a fast glove save to keep his team in the game.

“(McDavid) was hard to handle tonight,” said Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins. “He created three or four great chances just with his speed.”

Lucic added the empty-net goal with 1:20 left to put the game out of reach.

NOTES: McDavid has at least a point in four straight games (two goals, four assists). … Oilers F Anton Lander played in his 200th NHL game. … Edmonton has not trailed in a game since tying the score at 6:21 of the second period against St. Louis on Oct. 20, stretching its streak of being ahead or tied to 213:39. … Vancouver is tied for last in the NHL with 14 goals, but is averaging a league-worst 1.75 in eight games. Washington and Buffalo have also scored just 14, but each has played only six games.

UP NEXT

Oilers: Host Ottawa on Sunday night before heading out on a five-game trip.

Canucks: Host Washington on Saturday night before heading out on a six-game, nine-day trip.

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