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game recap

Oilers climb to third in Pacific

Connor McDavid takes lead in NHL scoring race in win against Canucks

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers moved into third place in the Pacific Division with a 2-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place on Saturday.

Connor McDavid had a goal to take the lead in the NHL scoring race, and Cam Talbot made 33 saves for the Oilers, who are one point ahead of the Calgary Flames. Talbot has six shutouts this season.

"We have to find ways to win games like this," McDavid said. "Playing [the Los Angeles Kings], playing Anaheim [Ducks], playing these teams coming down the stretch and into the playoffs, those are the kind of games you need to learn how to win. It's a real positive that we found a way."


WATCH: All Canucks vs. Oilers highlights


Mark Letestu also scored for Edmonton (38-24-9), who won their third consecutive game.

Richard Bachman made 20 saves for the Canucks (28-34-9).

Video: Allen, Talbot get Saturday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"A win with our 'B' game," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "They outworked us in some areas and outexecuted us. They were a little harder on the forecheck, but our goaltender hung in and gave us a chance to win. Our leading scorer and captain got us a goal and our power play bailed us out."

McDavid scored at 16:42 of the second period to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. He took a pass from defenseman Andrej Sekera on the right wing just inside the Canucks blue line, cut into the middle and shot over Bachman's shoulder.

The goal gave McDavid 80 points (25 goals, 55 assists), one point ahead of Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (37 goals, 42 assists).

"It's a stingy league," Bachman said. "We had some chances and hit some posts. The main objective is to win and then to give the team a chance, and I think we did that. I was happy with how we played tonight and thought we limited their offense and had some good chances of our own.

"I think that was a pretty good road game, especially coming here and playing in this building. I thought we did a good job. It is unfortunate we couldn't get a break."

Video: VAN@EDM: Boucher, Bachman combine to keep puck out

Talbot made eight saves in the first period, 11 in the second and 14 in the third, and had help from his goal posts.

Christopher Tanev hit the post in the first period and Nikita Tryamkin and Reid Boucher hit the post in the third for the Canucks.

"I'll take them," Talbot said. "I gave [the posts] a little rub there. That's a couple of lucky bounces and sometimes you need those in games like that."

Letestu scored at 15:22 of the third period on the power play to put the Oilers up 2-0.

"I thought we played a good game right from the start. I thought it was good game all the way through," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "It would have been nice if a couple of those chances went in for us, for sure."

Goal of the game

Leon Draisaitl slid a cross-ice pass to Letestu, who one-timed a shot past Bachman.

Video: VAN@EDM: Letestu nets Draisaitl's great pass for PPG

Save of the game

Bachman came out to the top of the crease to deny Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse on a shot from the slot at 6:07 of the second period.

Video: VAN@EDM: Bachman shuts down Nurse with pad stop

Unsung performance of the game

Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson had four hits, two shots and blocked three shots in 18:50.

Highlight of the game

McDavid cut in from the right and whipped a shot past Bachman before he could react.

Video: VAN@EDM: McDavid cuts into slot, wires in wrister

They said it

"A shutout is just an added bonus, the two points right now is the biggest thing. We did a good job of weathering the storm." -- Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot


"They're a gritty group and they have a lot of pride in that room. I think they played really good again tonight. They've been hard to beat lately so it's nice to get the two points." -- Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on the Canucks


"The Oilers have a good team and they can score goals at any given time. We have to battle more to get our goals and that was the difference tonight." -- Canucks forward Henrik Sedin

Need to know

Talbot played his 64th game, the most by a goaltender in the NHL this season. … Letestu matched his NHL high with his 14th goal of the season. He had 14 goals with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2010-11.

What's next

Canucks: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, SNP, NHL.TV)

Oilers: Home against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-W, NHL.TV)


Video: McDavid, Talbot help Oilers blank Canucks, 2-0

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