Tuesday, October 25, 2016

After sun delay, Oilers beat Jets 3-0 in Heritage Classic

 Cam Talbot has watched two outdoor NHL games from the bench in his career. He made the most of his first chance to play in one Sunday.
Talbot made 31 saves and Mark Letestu scored the first of three second-period goals, lifting the Edmonton Oilers over the Winnipeg Jets in an outdoor game delayed almost two hours by sunlight melting the ice.
The Heritage Classic victory extended Edmonton's winning streak to three in front of 33,240 at Investors Group Field. Fans wore both Jets and Oilers jerseys to the league's 19th outdoor game.
Talbot got his 12th career shutout and first this season.
"I was really excited for this one, obviously, to get a chance to play in my first game," said Talbot, who was a backup when his former New York Rangers played in two Stadium Series games.
"The atmosphere was great out there, the ice was in pretty good condition. It was just one heck of a weekend."
Zack Kassian had a goal and an assist and Darnell Nursealso scored for Edmonton.
Connor Hellebuyck, who had a tuque attached to his helmet, stopped 29 shots for Winnipeg.
"Certainly would have liked to give the fans one reason to get out of their seats today (but) we couldn't do that for them," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
The NHL said the start of the Heritage Classic game was delayed "due to intermittent sunlight on the playing surface" and "in the interest of player safety."
"The boys wanted to get out there right away, but the delay put a damper on things," Kassian said. "But once things got underway, walking out there was pretty special."
His goal was a bonus.
"That's just icing on the cake," Kassian said. "I think going into it, you want to enjoy the experience as much as you can, but most importantly, you want to get two points."
The Jets committed a series of errors that allowed Edmonton to break the game open in the second period.
Winnipeg was on a power play midway through the period when defenseman Dustin Byfuglien failed to get his stick on a loose puck in the Oilers end. Letestu picked it up and went in alone on Hellebuyck, beating him with a low shot for a shorthanded goal at 9:24.
Nurse emerged from the penalty box a couple minutes later and broke for a 2-on-1 with Connor McDavid. Nurse took a pass from McDavid, then sent a shot over Hellebuyck's glove with 8:50 left.
McDavid has four goals and five assists in six games.
Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said his team's penalty kill "came up big."
"Not only with the shorthanded goal, but almost in the same kill," McLellan said. "We go down and Darnell steps out of the box and we score another one, so that's deflating (for the Jets). That happened to us earlier in the year."
Kassian gave the Oilers a three-goal advantage with 2:44 left after Jets rookie Patrik Laine turned over the puck.
"I just tried something stupid and they got the puck and scored," Laine said. "It was my mistake and my man. I just want to learn from that mistake and move on."
Edmonton had a two-man advantage for 55 seconds midway through the third period but couldn't stretch its lead.
NOTES: Jets veteran defenseman Mark Stuart and forward Chris Thorburn were healthy scratches. The Oilers sat forward Anton Slepyshev and defenseman Matthew Benning.
Oilers: Host the Capitals on Wednesday night.
Jets: Play at Dallas on Tuesday night.

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