Talbot, Purcell send Oilers to 3-1 win over Jets
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Cam Talbot is back on his game.
Talbot made 44 saves and Teddy Purcell had two goals and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers won their seventh straight at home, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Monday night.
''Some nights you have it and some nights you don't, and tonight I had it,'' said Talbot, who had taken a back seat to fellow goalie Anders Nilsson for much of the month.
''It started in Boston. I had a couple of weeks off to work on some things and when I got my chance I wanted to make sure I was ready for it. I feel that I did that,'' he added. ''I put in a lot of extra work over those two weeks and I feel like it's starting to pay off and hopefully I can continue to carry it through after the Christmas break.''
Justin Schultz also scored for the Oilers, who snapped a three-game skid. But despite the victory, coach Todd McLellan was less than thrilled with his team's overall performance.
''I'm disappointed,'' he said. ''It's great that we got the points in the bank and we went into the break feeling good, but I think we're such a better team than we just performed tonight.
''We got away with one tonight.''
Bryan Little had the goal for the Jets, who have lost three of four.
''It's tough to lose on any night, but with the way we were taking it to them, it might hurt a little more,'' Winnipeg defenseman Tyler Myers said. ''I feel like we deserved to win, but you have to give their goalie credit. He made a lot of point-blank saves and they capitalized on their chances. It was one of those games that you just have to forget quickly.''
The Oilers opened the scoring 11 minutes into the first period when Purcell's shot ticked off a Winnipeg defender and past rookie goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who was making his fifth straight start. Taylor Hall picked up his 300th career point with an assist.
Hellebuyck made 11 saves on 14 shots before being replaced by Michael Hutchinson, who stopped all seven shots he faced.
Purcell scored his second of the game and eighth goal this season a couple of minutes later, taking a long pass from Leon Draisaitl before firing a one-timer into the net to make it 2-0.
Edmonton extended its lead 8 minutes into the second period when Purcell made a perfect feed from the corner to a pinching Schultz, who scored his first of the season.
Hutchinson then replaced Hellebuyck.
Winnipeg made it 3-1 with 8 minutes left in the second, as a point shot came off the glass to Little in front, and he batted it out of the air and past Talbot.
The Jets had the bulk of the chances in a scoreless third period, and Talbot stopped 16 shots in the final 20 minutes. Edmonton managed only three shots in the third.
''We threw everything we had at him,'' Little said. ''Their goalie played great.''
NOTES: Winnipeg swept the three-game series with Edmonton last season. ... The Oilers remain an injury-riddled squad, missing defensemen Brandon Davidson (upper body), Oscar Klefbom (finger) and Andrew Ference (undisclosed), as well as forwards Connor McDavid (collarbone), Rob Klinkhammer (ankle) and Nail Yakupov (ankle). ... Out injured for Winnipeg were defenseman Grant Clitsome (back) and goalie Ondrej Pavelec (knee). ... Jets defenseman Mark Stuart played in his 600th NHL game. ... Winnipeg plays Tuesday at Calgary. The Oilers don't return to action until Saturday in Vancouver.