EditorsNote: Several small tweaks throughout, including in ninth and 11th grafs
In a battle of slumping divisional rivals, Edmonton scored three times in the first period, Cam Talbot made 39 saves and the Oilers beat the host Anaheim Ducks 4-0 on Sunday.
Connor McDavid posted his team-high 24th goal, and Jesse Puljujarvi and Kyle Brodziak added markers in the opening period for the Oilers, who won for just the second time in their last nine games. McDavid has points in 36 of 41 games this season to top the NHL.
Leon Draisaitl also tallied, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Caleb Jones each had two assists, and Talbot registered his first shutout this season.
John Gibson stopped 20 of 24 shots in his seventh consecutive start, and the Ducks lost their eighth straight (0-6-2).
Offense continued to be the biggest problem for Anaheim, which has just 11 goals in its last eight games.
Defenseman Cam Fowler (complex facial surgery) returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 12 after taking a shot to the face and missing 23 games.
Edmonton was coming off a dispirited effort in Los Angeles on Saturday, dropping a 4-0 decision to the Kings as the Oilers produced a season-low 16 shots. Coach Ken Hitchcock called out every player afterward except defenseman Darnell Nurse.
Sunday marked the first time in Oilers history that they had lost by a shutout and then won by a shutout on back-to-back nights.
Hitchcock’s pointed post-game comments must have sunk in as Edmonton built a 3-0 lead after one period between the Pacific Division foes.
McDavid scored for the fifth time in five games when he batted in his own rebound by banking it in off Gibson’s left pad at 7:37.
Nurse’s long shot struck Puljujarvi as he battled with Anaheim’s Josh Manson in front of Gibson after a faceoff, and Puljujarvi sent a backhander through Gibson’s pads for his fourth goal at 16:05.
Brodziak and Nugent-Hopkins worked a 2-on-1 break, and Brodziak backhanded in a short-handed goal over Gibson for a 3-0 lead with 11 seconds left in the first.
Draisaitl whipped in his 23rd goal in the second period, and Edmonton’s Kevin Gravel and Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler took a whack at each other to spark a chippy scrum between the teams as the buzzer sounded.
Talbot stuffed all eight shots by Anaheim in the third period to complete his 20th career shutout.
—Field Level Media