HASH(0xbf9554)

Talbot has 34 saves as Oilers clinch playoff spot with 2-1 win over Kings

Oilers clinch playoff spot with 2-1 win

EDMONTON — There will finally be playoff hockey again in Edmonton.

Cam Talbot made 34 saves as the Oilers officially qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-2006 season with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

“It’s a special feeling tonight, especially seeing how passionate the crowd was and how excited they were,” said Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We’ve had some tough years, but it’s all worth it right now.”

Connor McDavid and Eric Gryba scored for the Oilers (42-25-9), who have won seven of their last eight games.

“It’s definitely special, you saw the excitement in the building,” McDavid said. “The fans are excited, we’re excited. There is a lot of work left to be done still, though.”

Talbot agreed that the Oilers can’t celebrate as if simply making it into the playoffs is enough.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” he said. “That is just a checkmark next to our name. It is nice that we know we are going to be playing for it, but we have another race, and that is for first place in the division.”

Jarome Iginla replied for the Kings (35-33-7), who have lost four of their last five and whose playoff hopes are hanging on by a thread.

“At this time of year you want to be locking up playoff spots and getting ready for a big push,” said Kings assistant captain Jeff Carter. “A little different, but we’ll play right to the end.”

“It sucks for all of us,” said L.A. defenceman Drew Doughty, before the game. “We don’t want to be in this position. You can point your fingers at a bunch of games throughout the season that put us in this predicament.”

The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks also officially clinched post-season berths with Edmonton’s win.

The Oilers looked to have scored just 49 seconds in on an Oscar Klefbom backhander, but the goal was called back on goaltender interference.

McDavid’s pass hit the stick of defender Derek Forbort and deflected past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick as the Oilers made up for that decision with five minutes left in the opening frame. It was McDavid’s 27th goal of the season and league-leading 89th point, extending point streaks for himself and Leon Draisaitl to eight games apiece.

The Kings responded with three minutes remaining in the first as Iginla picked off a soft attempt to advance the puck by Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot and beat him high to the glove side.

Edmonton regained the lead seven minutes into the second period as a Gryba point shot caromed off a pair of Kings players before inching past Quick and into the net.

The Oilers had what looked like another sure goal by Zack Kassian called back because the whistle had gone due to an upcoming penalty to the Kings.

The King return to the ice on Wednesday with a trip to Calgary to face the Flames, while the Oilers next host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Notes: It was the fourth of five meetings this season between the two teams, with the Oilers taking the last two. They meet again in Los Angeles on April 4… Among the healthy scratches for the Kings were Marian Gaborik and Andy Andreoff… Oilers defenceman Matt Benning missed the game after suffering an injury on Saturday, but did take the morning skate… Edmonton’s 42 wins thus far this season are the most by an Oilers team since 1988.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Kelowna Rocket invited to Hockey Canada National Under-17 Development Camp

The 16-year-old was selected by the Rockets 18th overall at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft

Kelowna RCMP serve up slices and support for Special Olympics B.C.

Last years inaugural campaign raised more than $12,000

Car window smashed with a bike in Kelowna

A staffer working in the area on the incident says vandalism is a reoccurring problem

Kelowna Mayor’s walking tour of Rutland cancelled

Growing issues surrounding supportive housing leads to rescheduled meeting with concerned resident

Kelowna RCMP net traffickers in undercover op

The RCMP reported dozens of arrests in the investigation

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

UPDATED: Highway 97 near Penticton reopened after serious crash

Accident closes highway in both directions

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Vernon artist featured at Kelowna exhibit

Mariel Belanger one of three female indigenous artists

Hergott: Moral obligations and your will

Lawyer Paul Hergott discusses wills and moral obligation

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Rain delays repair of Shuswap road damaged in mudslide

Seymour Arm forest service road not expected to reopen until early next week

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Alleged Okanagan shoplifter tracked down by RCMP

Vernon retail store’s loss prevention officer’s description of suspect helps lead to arrest

Most Read