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Talbot makes 33 saves, Oilers blank Canucks 2-0

Talbot makes 33 saves, Oilers blank Canucks 2-0

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 18, 2017 at 11:43 p.m.

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EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers didn't need to score seven goals this time. Not with the way Cam Talbot was playing.

Talbot made 33 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and the Oilers topped the Vancouver Canucks 2-0 on Saturday night.

Connor McDavid and Mark Letestu scored for the Oilers, who won their third straight, coming off seven-goal outbursts in victories over Dallas and Boston.

"You never expect to keep putting up seven goals a game," Talbot said. "We knew that wasn't going to happen. These are the games that are playoff hockey coming down the stretch, 1-0 and 2-0 games. I thought we did a pretty good job of showing that we can win these tight games, too."

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who picked up a pair of assists to give him seven points in his last three games, agreed.

"I don't think there's going to be one game in the playoffs that's going to be 7-1," he said. "I would be really surprised if there is. These games, in years past, we found ways to lose and this season we seem to find ways to win."

Meanwhile, the Canucks have lost six straight.

"We hit a lot of posts," Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin said. "Their goalie played well, but I thought we deserved to score at least a couple."

The Canucks had the best chance in a scoreless first period, with Christopher Tanev ringing a shot off the post with six minutes to play.

Edmonton broke the deadlock with 3:18 remaining in the second period as McDavid cut in with speed and beat Richard Bachman high to the glove side for his 25th goal of the season. McDavid leads the NHL with 80 points, one ahead of Boston's Brad Marchand.

Talbot made a pair of big saves on Vancouver's Markus Granlund in the second, including one just before the buzzer sounded, to keep it 1-0 through 40 minutes.

Vancouver again came close to tying it midway through the third, hitting a post. Then, during a major scrum in front of the Oilers net, the Canucks were unable to push the puck across the goal line.

Edmonton made it 2-0 with 4:38 left in the third period, as Leon Draisaitl made a great cross-ice feed to Letestu, who one-timed a shot past Bachman for his career-best 14th goal.

"They are a hard team to handle and I thought we did a good job containing them as much as we did," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "But it is still disappointing not to get some points."

NOTES: It was the third of five meetings this season between the teams. Edmonton won the first 2-0 in October, with the Canucks taking the second contest 3-2 in a shootout on Dec. 31. ... Bachman got just his second start of the season in net for the Canucks. The former Oiler was called up from the AHL on Feb. 27 after Jacob Markstrom sustained a lower-body injury. ... Tanev returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games because of food poisoning.


Canucks: at Chicago for the second game of a five-game road trip.

Oilers: host Los Angeles to close out a season-high eight-game homestand.

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