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game recap

Talbot makes 35 saves, Oilers shut out Flyers

Philadelphia loses for first time in four games

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- There must be something about the Philadelphia Flyers that brings out the best in Cam Talbot

The Edmonton Oilers goalie made 35 saves, including 16 in the second period, in a 4-0 win against the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday. The shutout was Talbot's third in five career games against Philadelphia.

"I don't know what it is," said Talbot, who is in his first season with Edmonton after playing his first two in the NHL with the New York Rangers. "I felt pretty comfortable again tonight. Penalty kill did a heck of a job in front of me, and it's a big two points for this group tonight."

Nail Yakupov, Taylor Hall, Patrick Maroon and Lauri Korpikoski scored for Edmonton (25-34-7), which has won three in a row, its longest streak since winning six straight Dec. 2-14. The Oilers have won consecutive road games for the first time since Oct. 17 and 18; they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in overtime Tuesday.

Video: EDM@PHI: Talbot prevents the Flyers from scoring

Michal Neuvirth made 27 saves for Philadelphia (29-23-11), which had its three-game winning streak end.

With the loss and the Pittsburgh Penguins victory against the Rangers, the Flyers are five points behind the Penguins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"I felt like it wasn't a really good game on our part," Philadelphia defenseman Mark Streit said. "But we still had some chances and hit the posts a few times but couldn't get any breaks. It was a tough night for us."

The Flyers went 0-for-7 on the power play, including a four-minute man-advantage for a high-sticking penalty assessed to Zack Kassian at 11:17 of the third period. Philadelphia allowed Korpikoski's shorthanded goal off a Shayne Gostisbehere defensive-zone turnover 42 seconds after Kassian went to the box.

Video: EDM@PHI: Hall breaks away to extend Oilers' lead

"I thought we were very well-prepared for their power play," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "They have some tendencies that are very similar goal after goal. They're very good at it; I think they're one of the best power plays in the League, in my opinion. Having been around some of their players at the [2015 IIHF] World Championship, you begin to see tendencies and you know what they prefer to do, so you take away outlets and options. I thought our group did a tremendous job."

The Oilers blocked a season-high 28 shots. The best might have come with 9:33 left in the second period. Flyers center Sean Couturier had an open net after Talbot slid out of position to make a save against Sam Gagner, but Korpikoski dove toward the net and got a piece of the shot with his stick. It gave Talbot enough time to jump across the crease and stop Couturier's shot from trickling across the line.  

"When they're willing to put their bodies in those shooting lanes and block the shots with not much padding, it says a lot about them, a lot about their willingness to win," said Talbot, who has two shutouts this season and 10 in his NHL career. "When we're doing the right things like that, there's not too many games we're not going to come out on top."

Adam Pardy and Andrej Sekera led Edmonton with five blocks. Pardy (6-foot-4, 227 pounds) is one of three recent additions who has brought size and grit to the Oilers. 

Video: EDM@PHI: Yakupov's goal opens the scoring

The 6-3, 230-pound Maroon, who Edmonton acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, brought physical play and scored in his first game with the Oilers. He got to the net to bang in the rebound of Pardy's shot at 16:11 of the second period to make it 3-0. 

"I think [general manager] Peter [Chiarelli] added some guys to our lineup that are bigger, stronger, and it's allowing us to play a heavier game," Hall said. "It's been fun."

Hall had a bit of fun on his goal at 14:22 of the second period to give Edmonton a 2-0 lead. He jumped on a Flyers turnover at the Oilers blue line, outraced Gostisbehere to the puck and flipped a shot over Neuvirth's right pad for his 21st goal.

Yakupov opened the scoring at 11:20 of the first period when he followed Connor McDavid's high-speed rush into the Philadelphia zone and knocked in the rebound for his sixth goal of the season but second in 17 games. 

Video: EDM@PHI: Talbot denies shot, lays out to save rebound

The Oilers believe this new gritty style is how they need to play moving into their final 16 games; they next play Friday at the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"We've learned by trial and error that the cute, fancy homestand we tried to play wasn't going to do it," McLellan said. "We're a proud group, so we took it upon ourselves to be a scrappy, relentless, tenacious-type team. We're not always that yet."

The Flyers need to rediscover what works for them starting Saturday at home against the Blue Jackets. 

"We've got 19 games left," Philadelphia forward Wayne Simmonds said. "I saw Pittsburgh won tonight, so that hurts for us, [but] you can't really dwell on it. Tomorrow is a new day."

Video: Talbot's shutout leads Oilers to win over Flyers

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