ST. LOUIS â€” Goaltender Cam Talbot is a big reason why the Edmonton Oilers are in position to make their first playoff appearance since 2006.
Talbot made 25 saves, and Milan Lucic and Mark Letestu scored to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
Talbot, making his league-best 57th start of the season, snapped a two-game losing streak.
“He’s been amazing for us,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. “I don’t really know how to explain how much he means to our group.
“He brings it each and every night and he battles in there no matter what’s going on. He’s been a rock for us and I feel he’s been a big leader for our group.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins assisted on both goals for the Oilers, who finished their six-game road trip with a 3-3 record.
Paul Stastny scored for St. Louis as the Blues lost their first game since trading defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals on Monday night.
Jake Allen stopped 23 of 25 shots and St. Louis dropped its fourth straight coming off a six-game winning streak.
“We’re not winning,” Stastny said. “I think everyone’s (upset) around here and we know how valuable points are. We want to take it in our own hands. We can’t be sitting here and relying on others teams to lose to give us some breathing room.”
Letestu converted a pass from McDavid with the two-man advantage to score the deciding goal, his 13th of the season, in the opening minute of the second period. The power-play goal was his second in as many games.
“When I go out there I expect to score,” Letestu said. “I expect to go score goals with all the left-handed shots. Me being the only righty out there, that’s my job to get to areas where I can score, and he gave me one tonight that not too many guys are going to miss on.”
St. Louis opened the scoring on its first power play of the game when Stastny deflected Alex Pietrangelo’s shot past Talbot for his 16th goal of the season.
Lucic tied the game when he fired a shot off Blues defenceman Joel Edmundson’s stick and underneath the glove of Allen for his 14th tally.
“When they scored all of a sudden we started watching them,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. “We were waiting for the next bad thing to happen and we stopped playing. So that was the difference in the game because at that point they drew the five-on-three and obviously got the go-ahead goal.”
NOTES: St. Louis has lost four straight games under Yeo after starting 7-1-0. … Newly acquired Blues C Zach Sanford was in attendance after being acquired in a trade for Shattenkirk. … McDavid has an assist in four consecutive games.
Blues: At Winnipeg on Friday night to start a three-game road trip.
Oilers: Host Detroit on Saturday to start an eight-game homestand.
David Solomon, The Associated Press