- The first period was mainly uneventful for both teams. While both the Oilers and Canucks recorded eight shots, they came mainly in the last half of the period. The Oilers did however come out playing a very physical game leading in hits 9-3.
- Jordan Eberle opened the scoring in the second period, finishing with a beautifully placed wrist shot. His decisiveness to shoot the puck in that situation allowed for him to score the way he did. Too often does Eberle try and dust the puck off when he gets it on his tape. I wonder how many more goals he would score if he learned to shoot right when the puck hits his tape. The second period had been mostly dominated by Edmonton through the first ten, but after that the Canucks started to change the pace of the game.
- Matt Hendricks scores the most Matt Hendricks goal you will ever see in the third period, cleaning up a rebound on a point shot sent in from Jordan Oesterle. Hendo is absolutely awesome, and has been a pleasure to watch in the Copper and Blue.
On to the good stuff...
Coming into the game, it was known that both teams have had their fare share of scoring troubles. Both teams were sitting in the bottom six in goals for in the entire league. Tonight however, while the Oilers struggled to suppress shots, Cam Talbot stepped up and was everything we hoped he would be.
As Travis Yost pointed out. Cam Talbot is now sitting at a .919 sv% on the entire season; just one goal back from Jonathan Quick and his .920 sv%. His play in Edmonton has been just straight up impressive as of late, especially when you consider through his first 13 games this season he only had a .880 sv%.
After years of going through the likes of Nikolai Khabibulin, Devan Dubnyk, Ben Scrivens, Viktor Fasth, etc., the Oilers have finally got themselves a guy who seems to be able to hold the blue paint. Most impressive is the fact that Talbot now moves to 13-0-1 all time when saving 35 shots a night. In those games, he has posted a 1.57 GAA, .960 sv% and has recorded two shutouts.
Not bad if I do say so myself.
Griffin Reinhart (who had probably his best game as an Oiler tonight) and Jordan Oesterle shined tonight, both playing over twenty-two minutes and blocking a combined 11 shots. They got absolutely buried in the numbers game, but they both made smart, decisive decisions out there that allowed for the Oilers to win this game. The pair had been on the ice for both Oilers goals and who knows - maybe the Oilers have something in these two.
Reinhart got praise from Todd McLellan after the game:
All in all the Oilers pulled out a win in a game that they probably shouldn't have won. None the less, a good goaltender wins games for his team and that is what happened tonight. Frankly, the Canucks in their own right are not a very good team right now.
Next up, the Oilers take on the Colorado Avalanche Sunday night at 7:30 pm.