Talbot denies old team, Wild top Oilers 4-1 for 7th straight
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Cam Talbot made 38 saves against his former team and the Minnesota Wild shut down the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory.
Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist. Marcus Foligno, Victor Rask and Dmitry Kulikov also scored for the Wild (18-6-1), off to the best start in franchise history with 37 points through 25 games.
Minnesota has scored at least four goals in six consecutive games, and its seven-game run is tied with Dallas for the longest active winning streak in the NHL.
“They played real well in the second period, but we really liked our regroup and how we played in the third period,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We did a lot of real, real good things.”
Among them was keeping the potent Oilers power play off the scoreboard at 0 for 5 on the night.
“Our penalty kill was outstanding tonight. I can’t say enough about them,” Talbot said. “We weren’t giving them those Grade-A chances that they’re accustomed to, and with the statistics coming in you wouldn’t think the power-play matchup would favor us. But we got a big one early and our penalty kill did a great job, so give our special teams a ton of credit tonight.”
Jesse Puljujarvi scored for the Oilers (16-8-0), who have lost three in a row.
“Obviously we’re going through a little bit of a lull and we need to figure it out,” captain Connor McDavid said. “I remember maybe my second year, we kind of did the same thing where we got off to a great start and played .500 for probably a month or two and then got back on a roll. Obviously, the good start has bought us a little time here, but we can’t rely on that. We’ve got to get back in the win column on Thursday.”
The Oilers once again found themselves down early as Minnesota opened the scoring just 1:11 in on the power play. Eriksson Ek poked in a puck that Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen had jammed against the post with his skate for his 10th goal of the season.
The Wild made it 2-0 seven minutes into the first period as Matt Dumba made a nice feed to a hard-charging Foligno, who redirected the puck into the net for his 11th.
Edmonton got a goal back 6 1/2 minutes into the second as McDavid fed Puljujarvi during a battle in front, and he sent the puck past Talbot.
The Oilers outshot Minnesota 20-6 in the period.
Minnesota restored its two-goal lead 5 1/2 minutes into the third as Jonas Brodin sent the puck through to Rask, who had a wide-open net to shoot at before Koskinen could get across.
The Wild put the game away with five minutes remaining as Kirill Kaprizov sprung Kulikov for a rare defenseman breakaway and he made the most of it, undressing Koskinen for his third goal of the season.
NOTES: Wild captain Jared Spurgeon (lower body) missed his eighth game, while teammate Frederick Gaudreau was out due to COVID-19 protocol. Missing from the Oilers’ lineup were G Mike Smith (lower body), Slater Koekkoek (lower body), Duncan Keith (upper body) and Cody Ceci (COVID-19 protocol). ... Oilers forward Devin Shore returned after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury. Edmonton put forward Brendan Perlini on waivers to make room on the roster. ... Edmonton has scored the first goal in only nine of 24 games this season, winning all nine.
Wild: At the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, the second stop on a four-game trip.
Oilers: Host the Boston Bruins on Thursday in the third game of a six-game homestand.
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