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GAME STORY: Oilers 4, Ducks 0

Cam Talbot stopped 39 shots and Caleb Jones and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each picked up two assists as the Oilers rolled to a huge 4-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday

by Marc Ciampa / EdmontonOilers.com

ANAHEIM, CA - Cam Talbot stopped all 39 shots he faced as the Edmonton Oilers bounced back to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 4-0 and move within two points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a game in hand. 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Caleb Jones had two assists apiece to lead the way for the Oilers in points. 

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game at ANA 01.06.19

 

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The Oilers head to San Jose where they'll meet the Sharks on Tuesday. The game can be seen on Sportsnet West and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 8:38 p.m. MST.

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Oilers starting goaltender Cam Talbot was busy early, stopping a Jakob Silfverberg shot with his mask less than 30 seconds in. He then made another nice stop off Ondrej Kase on a quick backhander in front of the net. Talbot kicked his right pad out to steer the puck out of harm's way. 

"I had to come up with a few big saves early and that obviously gets the confidence going," said Talbot.  

Shots on goal were 5-1 for the Ducks just over six minutes into the game but Talbot was excellent in keeping the team at 0-0. 

After the game, Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock said that the play of Talbot was one of two main reasons for the victory. 

"It was a hard game. Back-to-back, short rest, Anaheim sitting here and they've had a tough go of it," Hitchcock began. "But I thought two things: the play of Cam Talbot was outstanding and then we just saw the impact of Kris Russell which makes you really want to get Klefbom in because obviously the plays that Russ made back there helped with our composure and made you understand why we were on our run."

Seven minutes in, Zack Kassian had a wraparound chance that was blocked by Ducks netminder John Gibson. McDavid then drove the net and took a shot on goal that was also denied. McDavid tried again and this time the puck trickled over the line to make it a 1-0 game. 

"What we did was we went into the red zone and the blue paint way more and just put pucks in there and picked up goals because of the loose garbage we picked up. We could have even had two or three in the third that way," Hitchcock continued.

Oilers doubled their lead with 3:55 to play in the first as Jesse Puljujarvi picked up a loose puck in front, spun while fighting off a defender and backhanded it past Gibson.

"They try to get on you early (in their building) so we had to weather the storm and then Connor got one goal and we never really looked back from there. We just kept piling them on in the first," Talbot remarked.

Jones got called for high sticking with 42 seconds to go in the first to give the Ducks the game's first power play but it was the Oilers who would take advantage. 

Shorthanded, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kyle Brodziak skated down the ice on a two-on-one. Nugent-Hopkins fanned on his shot but Brodziak leaned in to scoop it up and backhand it past Gibson to make it a 3-0 game with 10.8 seconds to go in the opening frame. 

Video: Talbot, Oilers blank Ducks, 4-0

Shots on goal after one were 14-13 for the Ducks. 

Draisaitl and Rieder had a two-on-one early in the second after killing off the Jones penalty but Draisaitl was denied by Gibson after electing to shoot. Seconds later, Kassian was stopped on a redirect attempt in front of the net.

Draisaitl did convert, however, with 12:35 to go in the second. Some great forechecking by Milan Lucic led to the Oilers fourth goal. Lucic went into the corner and retrieved the puck by force and then centred it. The puck went out to Caleb Jones who ripped a shot and Draisaitl swiped home the rebound. The assist gave Jones his first career two-point night. 

"It feels great. There's other things in my game that I could clean up from tonight but getting those two assists (felt good)," Jones began.  

"One I just rim in and Connor ends up scoring and the other blocked shot to Leon. Sometimes you get a little puck luck and it's nice to get those tonight."

A skirmish erupted after the goal. The result was two minutes roughing to Brandon Montour and two for roughing plus two for unsportsmanlike for Lucic and a Ducks power play.

Shots on goal after two periods were 17-6 for the Ducks but the Oilers had the lone goal in the middle frame. 

In the third, the Oilers shut the door, allowing only eight shots. Talbot was solid when he had to be, his nicest save coming with a great glove grab on Brian Gibbons. Gibbons picked up the rebound at the top of the crease and it was snagged by Talbot's glove. 

With just over two minutes to play, Andy Welinski cross-checked Tobias Rieder to the ice giving a late power play to the Oilers. It was the only man advantage the Oilers would get on the night. 

Final shot count in the game was 39-24 for Anaheim.

"Overall, it's a huge win. It turns it into a good trip. If you're .500 or better on the road at this time of year you're doing great," said Hitchcock. "We're now in a good trip situation and we could turn it into a great trip in a couple days."
 

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