ANAHEIM (AP) — Leon Draisaitl scored two goals and Cam Talbot made 26 saves in his 15th career shutout, leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Kassian scored during the second period for the Oilers in a meeting of Pacific Division contenders.
Draisaitl scored early in the second and third periods, giving the German four goals in three games against Anaheim this season. NHL scoring leader Connor McDavid had an assist for his 57th point, and Talbot was rarely tested in his fourth shutout of the season.
John Gibson stopped 19 shots for the Ducks, who stumbled into the All-Star break with their first shutout loss in 35 games since Nov. 12.
Edmonton has won eight of 11, earning points in seven straight. The Oilers also pulled within one point of the Ducks for second place in the Pacific with a game in hand.
The Oilers are closing out the first half of the schedule with back-to-back games against Anaheim and San Jose, the two teams above them in the Pacific standings. Thanks to this blowout, Edmonton could move into second place with a win at the Shark Tank.
Edmonton hadn’t won in regulation at Honda Center in over four years.
Edmonton managed just one even-strength shot in the entire scoreless first period, but Draisaitl put the Oilers ahead early in the second. He stole Kevin Bieksa’s clearing attempt and scored his 18th goal on a give-and-go with McDavid to extend his scoring streak to five games.
Nugent-Hopkins then got his 11th goal on a deflected shot that pinballed past Gibson after a turnover by Bieksa.
Kassian turned it into a rout on a partial breakaway for his fourth goal with 16 seconds left, beating Gibson with a phenomenal backhand to the top near corner.
The game matched two goalies passed over for the All-Star Game this weekend in favor of San Jose’s Martin Jones and Arizona’s Mike Smith. Talbot has already obliterated his career high in victories, while Gibson leads the NHL in goals-against average in January.
NOTES: Anaheim has been shut out three times this season. … Kalle Kossila made his NHL debut for the Ducks. The 23-year-old Finn is having a strong AHL season, and the Ducks called him up from San Diego after losing Stefan Noesen on waivers to New Jersey. … Anaheim D Sami Vatanen returned from a one-game benching as a healthy scratch. … After a rare day off last Saturday, Talbot played for the 19th time in 21 games. … Ducks F Jakob Silfverberg missed his third straight game with a likely head injury.
Oilers: At Sharks on Thursday.
Ducks: Host Avalanche on Tuesday.
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