Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan is more interested in getting wins than the overall entertainment value of a game.
Andrej Sekera scored the overtime winner and Cam Talbot made 29 saves to earn the shutout as the Oilers won their second game in a row, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 1-0 on Monday.
“It probably wasn’t the most enjoyable game to watch,” McLellan said. “It was a chess match. It was tight-checking both ways without many opportunities. We’re going to have games like that.”
The Oilers (17-21-3) have won nine of their last 11 games at home.
It was Talbot’s first shutout of the season.
“The win is the most important thing, the shutout is just the bonus,” he said. “It means a lot to get these two points tonight and to build some momentum in our own rink again like we did before. Just the way the team has been playing in our own end, it’s a confidence boost for everyone.”
Cam Ward made 26 saves for the Hurricanes (16-18-6), who are on a two-game skid.
“I don’t think they got our best game, but we got a point and we’ve got to take that and come out with a better effort against Vancouver,” said Carolina forward Eric Staal. “It’s a big stretch for our team, a good chunk of hockey games that we want to get points and get wins. It’s tough to let this one go right now.”
The best chance in the scoreless first period belonged to Carolina, as Jordan Staal rang a shot of the post with five minutes left. The Hurricanes had nine shots in the opening frame on Talbot to six by Edmonton on Ward.
The Hurricanes continued to set the pace in the second period, but Justin Faulk missed a wide-open net with six minutes left to keep the game scoreless through 40 minutes with Carolina leading 18-14 on the shot clock.
Both goalies stood their ground through the third period as well, sending the game to extra time with the shots 27-21 for the Hurricanes.
The only goal of the game came 2:47 into the overtime period as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got the puck to former Hurricane Sekera, who was able to send a one-handed slash of his own rebound through Ward’s legs.
“When you have the chance you shoot it, I shot the puck, followed the rebound and it went in,” Sekera said. “I just try to play a good game every game, no matter who I play against. It was fortunate to score against my former team, because this is my new team and I am happy for it.
The Hurricanes return to action on Wednesday in Vancouver against the Canucks, while the Oilers are off until Friday when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning.