VANCOUVER -- The Edmonton Oilers came into Vancouver as one of the NHL's highest-scoring teams and captain Connor McDavid leading the League in scoring.
They left with another win, thanks to improving defensive play and goaltender Cam Talbot.
Talbot made 26 saves for his second shutout in the past three games, and McDavid scored the winning goal on a breakaway 11:31 into the second period in a 2-0 victory against the Canucks at Rogers Arena on Friday. It was McDavid's 12th point in eight games.
"We've been able to shut some teams down lately," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "That has been a big focus of ours. We know we can't let our goals-against get away from us, and the most promising thing for our team is we have been able to win games differently. We have been able to score a lot of goals and win, and we've been able to score a few and win."
Milan Lucic, who set up McDavid's breakaway, scored an empty-net goal with 1:20 left for the Oilers (7-1-0), who have won five straight and seven of eight. It's their best start since 1985-86.
"They came with a strong push, but we stayed strong as a five-man unit," Lucic said.
Video: EDM@VAN: Talbot kicks away Sutter's redirect attempt
Ryan Miller made 25 saves for the Canucks (4-3-1), who were shut out for the second straight game and are 0-3-1 in their past four after starting the season with four straight wins.
"I thought we deserved better," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. "This is the way we have to play. I think this was our best effort overall. We have to keep grinding away and get some goals."
The Canucks had their best chances in the first half of the second period, but Talbot made three great saves shortly before McDavid scored. Talbot got his right pad on a Jannik Hansen shot from the slot, sprawled to get his left pad on a Brendan Gaunce shot during a scramble and slid to his left to glove Markus Granlund's backdoor one-timer from in tight in getting his 13th career shutout.
"It's probably one of the best stretches of my career right now," said Talbot, who leads the NHL with seven wins. "My mindset is make the saves I am supposed to make and hopefully a few I am not supposed to make."
Video: EDM@VAN: Talbot stretches to make multiple stops
Goal of the game
McDavid started the play that led to his breakaway with a breakout pass to Lucic. McDavid split Canucks defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Ben Hutton after getting the return pass at full speed, and took a forehand shot that trickled through the pads of Miller. "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."
Video: EDM@VAN: McDavid shows off speed, finishes five-hole
Save of the game
Granlund was in alone after a nice backdoor pass from Hutton off a rush 10:16 into the second period, but Talbot slid right to left and gloved his shot.
Video: EDM@VAN: Talbot flashes glove to rob Granlund
Unsung moment of the game
Gaunce was sent in alone eight minutes into the third period, but Oilers center Leon Draissaitl made a great play to reach around and get his stick on Gaunce's stick, preventing a shot without taking a penalty.
Highlight of the game
McDavid had a chance to make it 2-0 on another breakaway with 7:34 left in the game, but Miller stayed with his deke to the backhand and gloved his shot out of the air.
Video: EDM@VAN: Miller gloves McDavid's breakaway attempt
They said it
"There weren't a lot of mistakes, and when the mistakes were made the goaltenders made tremendous saves. It was a game where you had to be patient. You have to play that way against Vancouver. You just can't play run and gun and risk." -- Edmonton coach Todd McLellan
"We probably have to get a few more pucks on net and probably get a dirty goal rather than a pretty goal. We have to find a way. The other thing is, we are just not getting power plays. … I'm not complaining about the refs. We have to get to the net." -- Canucks coach Willie Desjardins
Need to know
McDavid's goal extended his point streak to four games. He has two goals and four assists during that time. … Vancouver forward Jayson Megna left with a shoulder injury and will be out "a little while," according to Desjardins. Gaunce also left the game after colliding heavily with the net on the breakaway Draissaitl broke up and might not be able to play against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Canucks: Home against the Washington Capitals on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)
Oilers: Home against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; SNOL, RDSI, TSN5, NHL.TV)
Video: Talbot, McDavid propel Oilers to 2-0 win