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THROWBACK THURSDAY: 2016 Heritage Classic

Cam Talbot became the third goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout in an outdoor game as the Oilers blanked the Jets 3-0 at Investors Group Field.

by Tony Brar / EdmontonOilers.com

During the Oilers 40th Anniversary Season, EdmontonOilers.com is looking back at the history of the franchise weekly with Throwback Thursdays.

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers 3, Jets 0 | Box Score

It was the second outdoor game in the franchise's history. Thirteen years after Edmonton played in the NHL's first outdoor game in 2003, the Oilers faced the Jets at Investors Group Field, home of the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Some would call it the ideal conditions for a game outdoors. However, temperatures above zero degrees Celsius didn't stop Cam Talbot from rocking a toque on his helmet, just as Jose Theodore first did it back in 2003.

And with over 33,000 fans in attendance, it was number 33 between the pipes who stole the spotlight. 

Talbot turned aside all 31 shots he faced for the 12th shutout of his career, becoming the third goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout "under the lights."

 Video: Heritage Classic Recap on NHL Now

It was the netminder's third experience being a part of an outdoor game but his first time playing in one. 

"I was really excited for this one, obviously, to get a chance to play in my first game," said Talbot, who backed up Henrik Lundqvist in both of New York's Stadium Series matchups in 2014. "The atmosphere was great out there. The ice was in pretty good condition. It was just a heck of a weekend.

"It's always a lot of fun for the guys coming out here and getting to play in these games. I was just looking forward to taking it all in and hopefully come out with a big two points, which obviously, we were able to get."

Talbot would go on to have the best season of his career with a 42-22-8 record and seven shutouts - a season that saw him finish fourth in Vezina Trophy voting at the 2017 NHL awards. 

Video: POST-GAME RAW | McDavid and Talbot

While the night belonged to the goaltender, it also marked the much-anticipated outdoor debut for super-sophomore Connor McDavid. 

The Richmond Hill, ON product recorded an assist on a two-on-one break with defenceman Darnell Nurse, who buried a perfect pass over the glove of Connor Hellebuyck for his first of the season. Nurse had just finished serving two minutes in the sin bin as McDavid was sprung on a pass from Zack Kassian.

It was McDavid's league-leading ninth point (4G, 5A) as the Oilers picked up their fifth win of the campaign (5-1-0). McDavid would carry his strong play all season long, winning his first Art Ross, Ted Linsday and Hart Memorial Trophies of his career.

Mark Letestu got the party started with an unassisted shorthanded goal 9:24 into the second period. It was the centre's second season with the club since signing a three-year contract in the summer of 2015. The 16-17 season saw Letestu record a career-high in goals (16) and points (35), helping Edmonton earn its first post-season berth since 2006. 

Kassian was the only player to record a multi-point night, as the winger would later bury his second of the season with 2:44 to go in the middle frame. Following a Winnipeg turnover created by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Benoit Pouliot made a nifty behind-the-back pass to Kassian, who sniped a perfect shot past Hellebuyck's glove.

"[The goal was] icing on the cake," Kassian recalled. "Going into it you want to enjoy the experience as much as you can, but most importantly, you want to get the two points. When you're playing well as team and things are going well it's a fun game to be a part of, especially when you walk away with two points."

Kassian would record his second 20-plus point campaign of his career while amassing 101 penalty minutes in 16-17.

The victory marked Edmonton's third straight win - a streak that would eventually be extended to five, giving the Oilers a 7-1-0 record to begin the season.

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