Korpikoski, Talbot lift Oilers past Jets 2-1
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Getting back to basics has helped fuel the Edmonton Oilers' recent string of success.
Lauri Korpikoski scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Cam Talbot made 39 saves as the Oilers edged the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Sunday night. Patrick Maroon, who opened the scoring, said playing a ''meat and potatoes kind of game'' guided his team to three wins on their four-game road trip.
''We've been harping on that,'' Maroon said. ''We've got to continue that because it's been working for us. We played really good even though we gave up 40 shots. We got pucks deep and we grinded them down low.''
Edmonton moved out of last place in the Western Conference - one point ahead of Calgary and tied with Winnipeg with 59 points.
Mark Scheifele scored the lone goal for Winnipeg, a day after his first career NHL hat trick.
''We had some really good chances to score, but our mentality needs to be to create more traffic,'' Jets forward Adam Lowry said. ''Our defense did a great job tonight getting pucks to the net. It's on the forwards to get those second and third opportunities.''
With the game tied at 1, Andrej Sekera made a slick move to funnel down toward the Winnipeg goal and found Korpikoski, who - on one knee - jammed home a loose puck in the slot for the 2-1 lead at 16:20 of the second.
''We tried to adopt that scrappy, hard and tenacious style heading into Los Angeles (two weeks ago) and guys bought into it,'' Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. ''It's not always pretty and we do get outshot at times, but we're finding ways to win with what we've got and the guys are proud of that.''
Talbot made a sprawling glove save midway through the third period to retain the lead and earn his 16th win of the season.
''When a goalie gets on a roll, sometimes the puck seems a little bigger and when you're not seeing the puck well, you can struggle,'' Talbot said. ''Luckily for me, it's going in the right direction right now and I'll try to keep it going as long as I can.''
Ondrej Pavelec picked up his 10th loss after allowing two goals on 31 shots.
Scheifele nearly tied the game with a few seconds left, but his blistering wrist shot hit the crossbar.
''I hate the posts,'' Scheifele said. ''I had a pretty good angle at it. I thought it was definitely going in. It's a pretty heartbreaking sound to hear.''
Connor McDavid had the best chance of a scoreless first period, taking a breakout pass from fellow No. 1 overall pick Nail Yakupov to put him in alone on Pavelec. The Jets goaltender got his glove hand on McDavid's deke attempt to keep the game scoreless five minutes in.
Taylor Hall, working behind the goal line in Winnipeg's zone, found Maroon on Pavelec's doorstep and Maroon scored his sixth of the season for the 1-0 lead at 5:25 of the second period.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Scheifele tied it with his ninth goal in his last nine games 51 seconds after Maroon scored. Blake Wheeler, who streaked down the right side and found Scheifele sitting alone in the slot for sixth goal in the last three games, set up the goal.
NOTES: The Jets were awarded the Heritage Classic on Sunday. The game will be played at Investors Group Field on Oct. 23. An alumni game, including the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Dale Hawerchuk, will take place a day earlier on Oct. 22. The last Heritage Classic game took place in Vancouver in 2014.