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BLOG: Oilers looking to improve their penalty kill

The Oilers were perfect shorthanded against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday

by Paul Gazzola /

The Oilers were perfect on the penalty kill Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks after going 2-for-4 in the high-scoring affair versus the Boston Bruins a game prior.

The team has been working to improve their 23rd-ranked penalty kill (79.4 percent) and Saturday's game was a good start.

"No matter what their ranking was yesterday, that's a dangerous power play (Vancouver's)," said defenceman Darnell Nurse. "But for us, it was a good night. Something we have to build off and continue to show, especially in this final stretch."

Last game, Oscar Klefbom's clearing attempt found its way to Connor McDavid who caught the puck and took it in on a 2-on-1. The team doesn't look to be offensive while shorthanded but sometimes chances arise.

"The only time we can think about offence is when we have clear control," said Nurse. "Especially on the penalty kill. As soon as you start cheating to offence, other teams can just pick you apart. It's a defence mentality first."

Cam Talbot's 33-save performance was a big reason for the shorthanded success. Nurse agrees with the old adage that the goaltender is always a team's best penalty killer.

"You see all the top penalty kills in the League," he said. "Their best penalty killer is always their goalie. Talbs every night seems to be making huge saves at big times and that's true to when it comes to the penalty kill."

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