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Oilers call on Talbot to face Sharks

Goalie on a roll for Edmonton; Reimer expected for San Jose

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

SHARKS (36-23-6) at OILERS (26-35-7)

TV: 9 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, SNW, NHL.TV

EDMONTON - A day after being named the NHL's First Star of the Week, goaltender Cam Talbot will start for the Edmonton Oilers against the San Jose Sharks at Rexall Place on Tuesday. 

Talbot was 3-0-0 last week with a 0.65 goals-against average and .981 save percentage. He backstopped the Oilers to three wins on their recent four-game road trip and has won his past four games.

"We feel better with [Talbot] in the net," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "You're capable of overcoming mistakes and we make them. But you're capable of overcoming them and he's the last line of defense and he's been tremendous for us. He gets us out of a lot of [trouble], and in turn, I think that motivates the players in front of him to try and do it right and have some success the other way."

Talbot made 39 saves in a 2-1 win at the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. He has not conceded more than two goals in his past six starts and made 37 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss against the Sharks on Jan. 14.

Talbot is 16-22-4 with a 2.51 GAA and .919 save percentage in 45 games this season. 

"I feel really good, this is probably the most confident I've been in my career, right now," Talbot said. "I feel confident in myself, I feel confident in the group in front of me and we're playing a good, team game right now. 

"Sometimes when you're in a groove like that, pucks just seem to hit you. They come through screens, and sometimes, those that bounce off a leg and go in, it feels like they've been hitting me in the pad or in the chest or things like that and I seem to be finding myself in better position than I usually am."

Talbot, 28, was acquired from the New York Rangers on June 27, 2015, for the 57th, 79th and 184th picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. 

Before coming to Edmonton, Talbot was the backup to Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for two seasons. 

"Cam is playing great," Oilers rookie center Connor McDavid said. "Anytime we've been playing good hockey, it's mostly because of him. He's been a rock back there and you really saw that on the last road trip. He's been making saves that he definitely shouldn't be. Anytime you get that kind of help, it motivates everyone."

The Sharks did not have a morning skate Tuesday. San Jose defeated the Calgary Flames 2-1 in overtime Monday. 

Sharks captain Joe Thornton has three goals and nine assists for 12 points in his past eight games. 

"He is a tremendous player," said McLellan, who coached the Sharks for seven seasons before being hired by Edmonton last summer. "I think the depth on their team this year has allowed him to stay fresh and you can see that now, and he's been able to carry his streak through. He drives that team, he makes great plays."

Goalie James Reimer is expected to start for the Sharks in the second of a back-to-back set. 

Here are the projected lineups:


Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski  

Matthew Nieto - Logan Couture - Joel Ward  

Nick Spaling - Patrick Marleau - Joonas Donskoi  

Dainius Zubrus - Chris Tierney - Melker Karlsson  

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun  

Paul Martin - Brent Burns  

Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak  

James Reimer 

Martin Jones  

Injured: Tommy Wingels (shoulder)

Scratched: Micheal Haley, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Tennyson


Lauri Korpikoski - Connor McDavid - Jordan Eberle  

Taylor Hall - Leon Draisaitl - Patrick Maroon  

Zack Kassian - Mark Letestu - Nail Yakupov  

Matt Hendricks - Anton Lander - Adam Cracknell  

Andrej Sekera - Mark Fayne  

Darnell Nurse - Adam Clendening  

Griffin Reinhart - Adam Pardy  

Cam Talbot  

Laurent Brossoit  

Injured: Oscar Klefbom (leg), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Brandon Davidson (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), Eric Gryba (knee).

Scratched: Luke Gazdic, Iiro Pakarinen, Nikita Nikitin

Status report: Reinhart, who was recalled from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Monday, will be in the lineup. Reinhart has played 15 NHL games this season and has one assist. … Nugent-Hopkins is skating with the Oilers but won't play in the next two games, according to McLellan. Nugent-Hopkins has missed 21 games with a broken hand. 

Who's hot: Burns has four goals and four assists in his past four games. … Thornton has three goals and 12 points in his past eight games. … Pavelski has four goals in his past five games. … Hall has two goals and two assists in his past four games.

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