EDMONTON — Cam Talbot looks to have found his game again.
Talbot made 44 saves and Teddy Purcell had two goals and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers won their seventh consecutive home game, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Monday.
“Some nights you have it and some nights you don’t and tonight I had it,” said Talbot, who had taken a back seat to fellow netminder Anders Nilsson for much of the month.
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“It started in Boston. I had a couple of weeks off to work on some things and when I got my chance I wanted to make sure I was ready for it. I feel that I did that, I put in a lot of extra work over those two weeks and I feel like it’s starting to pay off and hopefully I can continue to carry it through after the Christmas break.”
Justin Schultz also scored for the Oilers (15-18-2), who snapped a three-game losing skid.
Despite the win, Oilers head coach Todd McLellan was less than thrilled with the overall performance.
“I’m disappointed,” he said. “It’s great that we got the points in the bank and we went into the break feeling good, but I think we’re such a better team than we just performed tonight.
“We got away with one tonight.”
Bryan Little replied for the Jets (15-16-2), who have lost three of their last four games.
“It’s tough to lose on any night, but with the way we were taking it to them, it might hurt a little more,” said Jets defenceman Tyler Myers. “I feel like we deserved to win, but you have to give their goalie credit. He made a lot of point-blank saves and they capitalized on their chances. It was one of those games that you just have to forget quickly.”
The Oilers started off the scoring 11 minutes into the first period as a Purcell shot ticked off a Winnipeg defender and past rookie goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who was making his fifth consecutive start. Taylor Hall picked up his 300th career point with an assist.
Purcell scored his second of the game and eighth goal of the season a couple of minutes later, taking a long pass from Leon Draisaitl before rifling a one-timer into the net to make it 2-0 Edmonton.
Edmonton extended its lead eight minutes into the second frame as Purcell made a perfect feed from the corner to a pinching Schultz, who scored his first of the season. Michael Hutchinson came in to replace Hellebuyck, who allowed three goals on 14 shots.
Winnipeg made it 3-1 with eight minutes left in the second, as a point shot came off the glass to Little in front, and he batted it out of the air and past Talbot.
The Jets had the bulk of the chances in the scoreless third period, but Talbot stood on his head stopping 16 shots in the final 20 minutes. Edmonton registered just three shots in the third.
“We threw everything we had at him,” Little said. “Their goalie played great.”
Winnipeg plays the Flames in Calgary Tuesday. The Oilers don’t return to action until Saturday in Vancouver.