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game recap

Talbot, Oilers blank Canucks

Goalie makes 40 saves for third shutout this season; Eberle, Hendricks score

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Goaltender Cam Talbot continues to be a bright spot for the Edmonton Oilers in a disappointing season.

Talbot made 40 saves for his third shutout, and the Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-0 at Rexall Place on Friday.

It was Talbot's 11th NHL shutout and Edmonton's second consecutive win.

"We knew we were going to have to weather the storm and we did a good job in front of the net boxing out, tying up sticks and getting to rebounds, so credit goes to the guys in front of me," said Talbot, who has a 2.50 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 50 games. "I feel more confident than I have pretty much my whole career and I'm giving the guys a chance to win, and they've been playing some pretty solid hockey in front of me."

Video: VAN@EDM: Talbot stones Gaunce, preserves Oilers' lead

Jordan Eberle and Matt Hendricks scored for the Oilers (29-38-7).

Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves for the Canucks (27-31-12), who have lost three straight.

"[Talbot] played really well," Eberle said. "Every time there was a chance, he was there to answer. 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 made 16 saves in both the second and third period. He made his best save with 2:03 remaining when he extended his left pad to stop Jake Virtanen's tip in front to preserve the shutout.

Video: VAN@EDM: Eberle goes five-hole to open the scoring

"I thought [Talbot] was really good," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "It's hard to criticize a win, but I thought our team was sluggish tonight. We started well and played the first 15 minutes with energy, but after that, we fell off. There was not a lot of support. 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."

Edmonton had the two best chances in a scoreless first period. Taylor Hall set up Iiro Pakarinen in front as he circled behind the net, but Markstrom made an excellent glove save from in close. Later in the period, Connor McDavid set up Hall at the side of the net on a rush, but Markstrom made the save.

"I thought we had some really good chances to score, but with 40 shots, we should have created some more Grade A chances," Canucks 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 [Talbot]."

Vancouver appeared to score 5:29 into the second period when Canucks forward Brendan Gaunce and Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse crashed into Talbot. The goal immediately was waved off by the referee, who ruled Gaunce made incidental contact with Talbot before the puck crossed the goal line.

Video: VAN@EDM: Hendricks knocks a rebound into the twine

"It would have been nice to get a goal there," Sedin said. "But we have to think about the way we're playing and our process of trying to get better. It was a tough one here tonight, but overall, I thought we played a good game."

Edmonton took a 1-0 lead at 11:10 of the second, when Eberle scored following a turnover just outside of the Vancouver blue line.

Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis' outlet pass was intercepted by McDavid, who took the puck back into the zone on an odd-man rush and slid a pass over to Eberle on the left wing. Eberle beat Markstrom with a low shot between the pads.

"We want to finish strong because this is a building with a lot of history, and a lot of winning history," Eberle said. "We want to finish it off winning and we don't want to limp out of the season either; we want to get as many wins as possible and feel good about ourselves."

Video: VAN@EDM: Talbot makes great stop, preserves shutout

The Oilers have four games remaining at Rexall Place. They will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a 10th consecutive season and move into a new arena before the 2016-17 season.

Hendricks put Edmonton up 2-0 at 6:03 of the third period, banging a rebound past Markstrom following a long shot from by the point by defenseman Jordan Oesterle.

"We'd been struggling at home as of late, but the last two games we came away with two big [wins]," Hendricks said. "It's a tough time of the season for players because of the way our season's gone as a whole and it's tough for our fan base here in Edmonton, so it's nice to get a win. It's a good feeling right now. We want to go out on a high."

Video: VAN@EDM: Markstrom stones Pakarinen on the doorstep

The Canucks pressed for a goal in the third period, but despite doubling the Oilers in shots, they were shut out for the sixth time this season.

"That last half of the game, we [generated chances]. I didn't think we generated an awful lot in the first half," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "I thought the last half, we generated more. We have to find a way to get one. It would have helped for sure if we got that goal [in the second period], but we didn't get it."

Vancouver hosts the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Edmonton concludes a five-game homestand Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Video: Talbot makes 40 saves in shutout win over Canucks

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