CHICAGO â€” Cam Talbot came through again to help the Edmonton Oilers keep climbing in the standings.
Talbot made 38 saves, Connor McDavid scored his 20th goal and the Oilers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Saturday night for their third straight win.
Matt Benning and Milan Lucic also scored for Edmonton in the opener of its season-high six-game road trip.
McDavid, who leads the NHL in points, fired into an empty net with 27 seconds left as the Oilers moved into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division.
“This game, we were just trying to get two points in a tough building to play in,” Talbot said. “We had a couple of good games throughout this week, and were just trying to keep that going.”
Talbot, the NHL’s busiest goalie in games and minutes played, lost a shutout bid when Richard Panik scored his 15th goal with 4:47 left. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews earned his 600th NHL point with a nice pass on the play.
“There’s two positives to tonight,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. “We got the points and Cam played tremendous.
“He was just in the zone. He faced a lot of rubber, had to be alert for a full 60 minutes.”
Chicago had won five straight â€” all on the road. It was its first home game since Jan. 26.
Corey Crawford made 19 saves for the Blackhawks, who were coming off a 5-1 victory at Edmonton last Saturday in their final game before their bye week. Chicago generated plenty of energy, but was rusty around the net.
“I can’t speak for the other teams that came off (the bye), but I think we worked pretty hard today,” Toews said. “We had a lot of chances, we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Coach Joel Quenneville agreed.
“I thought our shot selection around the net wasn’t great,” Quenneville said. “We did have some good chances where we didn’t elevate it, or we didn’t have the traffic or the patience making good shots.”
The Blackhawks outshot the Oilers 12-4 in a scoreless first period and had ample opportunities, including shots by Marian Hossa and Artemi Panarin that clanked off the post.
“They came out flying in the first,” Talbot said. “They knew we wanted redemption from last week and we were able to weather the storm.”
Chicago dominated again for much of the second, outshooting Edmonton 16-9, but trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes.
Benning opened the scoring with a fluke power-play goal at 5:02. Benning’s centring pass from the right corner deflected in off the skate of Chicago defenceman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who was in the crease.
The Oilers were awarded a power play after Blackhawks rookie Ryan Hartman was penalized for instigating a fight with Edmonton’s Eric Gryba after Gryba shoved him into the boards.
Lucic made it 2-0 at 9:50 of the third. He skated into the right circle, pulled up and stopped, then fired a low shot between Crawford’s pads.
NOTES: Edmonton D Kris Russell missed his fifth straight game with a lower-body injury. Oilers D Darnell Nurse (ankle surgery) missed his 33rd game but has resumed skating and is expected to rejoin the team on its trip. … Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook skated in his 900th game. The 31-year-old Seabrook, Chicago’s first-round draft pick in 2003, is in his 12th season with the team. … Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, who played his first NHL game against the Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium in 1979, attended the contest.
Oilers: Visit Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Blackhawks: Visit Buffalo on Sunday.
Matt Carlson, The Associated Press