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game recap

Milan Lucic lifts Oilers past Blues

Scores game-winner early in third period; Cam Talbot makes 33 saves in victory

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Milan Lucic scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and Cam Talbot made 33 saves to help the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Place on Thursday.

Edmonton has won two games in a row and four of five to begin the season. They play the Winnipeg Jets in the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday.

"Starting 4-1, we couldn't ask for a better start," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. "I think we're feeling pretty good about ourselves, but I think it's about keeping it even keel."

McDavid set up Lucic's game-winner 36 seconds into the third period, and then scored into an empty net with 38 seconds remaining. He has eight points (four goals, four assists) in five games.

"It's great that we were able to play a good game against a really good team here tonight," Lucic said. "A lot of credit has to go to our goaltending. The way he's been able to bounce back after that Buffalo loss (6-2 on Sunday) has been huge for us in the last two wins. Him making some big saves and keeping us in it, really gave us a chance to win."

Nail Yakupov scored for St. Louis in his first game back in Edmonton since the Oilers traded him to the Blues on Oct. 7. Jake Allen made 20 saves.

"It was a great to be here and play against my old teammates," Yakupov said. "I was just trying to stay focused on my team and playing the right way. It is all about this team right now. I'm not thinking about my old team. We have a plan here now. I was a little nervous and had a bit of pressure, but after a couple of shifts, it went away."

Video: STL@EDM: Yakupov tallies against his former team

Yakupov gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 3:37 of the second period on a pass in front from defenseman Joel Edmundson.

Tyler Pitlick tied it 1-1 at 6:22 when he tipped Andrej Sekera's shot from the point past Allen for his third goal. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock challenged the goal for goaltender interference, but it was upheld after a video review.

St. Louis outshot Edmonton 35-23.

"I think the shot totals were a little bit misleading, we were on the perimeter too much," Hitchcock said. "It was a 1-1 game, right where you want it on the road, and we made a big error on that 2-on-2. That gave them the lead, and we had to open it up a little bit."

Yakupov came close to tying it at 10:10 of the third, hitting the goal post on a rush after he beat Oilers defenseman Eric Gryba wide and cut to the net.

"Going into third, we were happy we responded and got the goal from [Pitlick] to tie it up, and then we would see what would come out of it," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "Scoring fairly early was nice and then having the ability to defend. There were some moments that were nerve-racking, but we settled things down."

Video: STL@EDM: Talbot kicks out left pad to stone Jaskin


Goal of the game

Pitlick tied it 1-1 when he came out of the corner and tipped a shot from Sekera past Allen before crashing into the goaltender at the top of the crease.

Video: STL@EDM: Pitlick deflects a shot from the blue line


Save of the game

Allen kept the Blues within a goal with an outstanding save on Jordan Eberle at 7:08 of the third period during an Oilers power play. He slid across to get a pad on a shot from Eberle on a setup from Lucic.

Video: STL@EDM: Allen slides over to deny Eberle's chance


Unsung moment of the game

St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester kept Edmonton from taking a 2-1 lead late in the second period, getting back to break up a pass from McDavid to Lucic in front at 17:24.


Highlight of the game

McDavid and Lucic combined for the winning goal 36 seconds into the third period on a 2-on-2 rush against Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo. McDavid drew the Blues defensemen toward him before sliding a pass to Lucic in front.

Video: STL@EDM: Lucic beats Allen for early goal in the 3rd


They said it

"You can't leave a guy like that alone in the slot, he's got a good skill set, so he's going to bury those most times. We lost him that one time, but we were able to keep the rest out, so that's what matters." -- Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot on former teammate Nail Yakupov


"We were able to break the puck out well, jump on a turnover, and Connor did a great job of crisscrossing with me. I just kept going to the net, and obviously he makes a great pass and it was one of those plays where you don't think, you just shoot, and it ends up going in for you." -- Oilers forward Milan Lucic on his game-winning goal


"They are not the Oilers of the last few years, I'll tell you that. They are a good hockey club and obviously made some good additions to their team." -- Blues goaltender Jake Allen


Video: STL@EDM: McDavid seals win with an empty-net goal


Need to know

Eberle has a five-game point streak (three goals, three assists). … Pitlick has three goals in five games after he had three in 27 games over the previous two seasons to begin his NHL career. … It took Edmonton 11 games to get four wins last season. … It was the first game this season that Blues forward Alexander Steen was held without a point.

Video: STL@EDM: Talbot kicks out left pad to stone Jaskin


What's next

Blues: At the Calgary Flames on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Oilers: At the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV)


Video: Lucic, Talbot lead Oilers in 3-1 win

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