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Talbot makes 47 saves, Oilers defeat Bruins in OT

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Cam Talbot made 47 saves in his first start since Nov. 27, and defenseman Andrej Sekera scored 41 seconds into overtime to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Monday.

Jordan Eberle had a goal and two assists for Edmonton (14-15-2), which has won six in a row and swept the season series from Boston.

"We're a smart group of players. We know that we stole one here tonight," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "Our goaltender played a tremendous game for us. ... For me, that was like a playoff game. They checked every inch of ice, they didn't let you breathe. ... We did a poor job from the tops of the circles out through the neutral zone. We turned a lot of pucks over, and they countered against us.

"But we got a win. We're not naive enough to think that we are the better team tonight."

It was Edmonton's first game in Boston since general manager Peter Chiarelli was fired by the Bruins and hired by the Oilers in April. The Oilers had not won here since Nov. 7, 1996 (nine losses, one tie).

"We are playing and getting some confidence," Eberle said. "I think the biggest thing is that there have been a couple nights that haven't been our best. But our goalie is our answer ... that is just what good teams need and we need those guys."

On his overtime winner, Sekera beat the Bruins with determination after his first shot attempt from the blue line was blocked in front. He won the race to the loose puck, and then beat Bruins goaltender Jonas Gustavsson (21 saves) high to the stick side.

The Bruins (16-9-4), who had won two in a row, outshot the Oilers 49-24, including 38-10 in the second and third period.

"The bottom line is, you know, we fell into a 2-0 hole early on," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "They got a couple of good breaks there, and we had to fight our way back. They had a good goaltender. I thought we played well enough to win the game, and, you know, unfortunately some of those nights don't always go your way, so we come out with one when we should have come out with two."

Talbot was tested from the start. Bruins forward Brad Marchand skated in alone and tried a backhand that Talbot got with his glove 44 seconds into the game. He denied Matt Beleskey's wrist shot on the rush and Loui Eriksson on the ensuing rebound at 2:13.

At the other end, it took 4:33 for the Oilers to get their first shot on Gustavsson. But Edmonton scored first, thanks to a fortuitous bounce.

Gustavsson stopped Eric Gryba's shot from the blue line, but the rebound went off the end wall and right to Eberle waiting at the left side of the net. Eberle flipped in the puck at 8:29 of the first period for his seventh goal.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put the Oilers ahead 2-0 when he scored his eighth goal with a drive to the net at 13:58. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara fell in the corner, and Eberle pounced on the puck before setting up Nugent-Hopkins. Adam McQuaid blocked Nugent-Hopkins' first shot, but he couldn't prevent his second attempt from finding the back of the net.

The Bruins outshot the Oilers 18-3 in the second period; Edmonton didn't have its first shot of the period until 16:39. Boston scored after Beleskey bulled his way to the net from the right wall against rookie defenseman Darnell Nurse. Beleskey flipped the puck off Talbot's back, and when Talbot moved his right skate, he knocked the puck over the goal line at 13:29 to trim Edmonton's lead to 2-1.

Boston continued to heavily outshoot Edmonton in the third period until Marchand tied it 2-2 with his 15th goal. Marchand beat Talbot with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle on the rush high to the stick side at 15:22.

The Bruins rallied for a point but were frustrated they didn't make life harder on Talbot.

"We didn't do a really good job of getting in front of him," Marchand said. "There was a lot of pucks around the net, rebounds and such, and we just weren't there and battling in front to pick those up. So we have to do a much better job of that next game."

The Bruins conclude their three-game homestand against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

The Oilers visit the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

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