EDMONTON — If Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot is getting worn out after making his NHL-leading 65th start of the season on Monday, it’s not showing.
Talbot made 35 saves to record his second shutout in as many games and seventh of the season as the Oilers closed out an eight-game homestand with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.
“I think the more I play, the better I feel and the more confident I get,” Talbot said. “Day in and day out. And anytime you can pick up some big wins it just kind of carries over and you just feel good going into the next one.”
Patrick Maroon and Milan Lucic scored for the Oilers (39-24-9), who won their fourth game in a row to move one point ahead of Calgary and into a tie for second place in the Pacific Division with Anaheim. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each had a pair of assists, moving McDavid back into the NHL’s scoring lead with 82 points.
“Cam has been great for us all year,” McDavid said of Talbot. “For him to play like that in back-to-back games — two of the biggest games of the year for us — he was great.”
Jonathan Quick stopped 29 shots for the Kings (34-31-7), who have lost four of their last five games, further dashing their playoff hopes.
“We just dug ourselves into a hole right away, going down two goals at this time of year against teams we’re playing, it’s certainly not the way you want to start the game and it’s obviously tough to play catch-up hockey,” said Kings forward Anze Kopitar.
Maroon batted the rebound from a McDavid shot out of midair and past Quick just 64 seconds into the game. It was Maroon’s 25th goal of the season after having a previous career high of 12 goals.
The Oilers made it 2-0 on the power play with seven minutes left in the opening period as Lucic corralled a loose puck in the crease and slid it under Quick for his 17th.
The goal ended a streak of 34 consecutive penalty kills on the road for Los Angeles.
Edmonton outshot L.A. 15-7 in the first, but the Kings recovered, going 26-25 after the scoreless second period as Talbot stood tall in net.
The Kings had a power play late in the third, but were still unable to get anything past Talbot.
“It’s a huge win,” Draisaitl said. “We play in our division quite a bit more down the stretch and this was a great step for us to try and separate ourselves from the rest.”
The Oilers are in Anaheim to face the Ducks on Wednesday, while the Kings return home to host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Notes: It was the third of five meetings between the Oilers and Kings this season, with the two teams splitting the first two encounters. The next time the teams face each other is on March 28, also in Edmonton… Quick got the start in net for the Kings despite being pulled after giving up two goals on seven shots against the Flames in a 5-2 loss in Calgary on Sunday… Talbot’s seven shutouts on the season are the most for an Oilers goalie since Tommy Salo had eight in 2001-02.