The Edmonton Oilers hit the road again, playing at Colorado Wednesday and at Arizona Friday. They’ve won two in a row, upping their record to 11-8-1.
After giving up the first goal in seven straight games, the Oilers scored first en route to victories over Dallas and Chicago.
“Biggest thing for the last couple of games is we’ve been getting on the board first and we’re not playing from behind,” says centre Drake Caggiula. “We have to make sure we keep coming out fast and keep building that early lead.”
The Oilers are 7-1-0 when scoring first this season. They’re 4-7-1 when allowing the first goal.
Defenceman Kris Russell returned to action Friday in Dallas after missing seven games with an injury. The Oilers are 9-3-1 with Russell in the lineup and 2-5-0 without him.
“I don’t think it’s coincidence. I think he does bring enough stability back there that he does have an impact on the outcome of games,” says head coach Todd McLellan. “He has the ability play with pace yet slow things down and make the right play. He defends quite well.”
It’ll be interesting to see when Cam Talbot gets his next game off. He’s started 18 of the Oilers 20 games so far.
Talbot seems to come back strong after getting a break, but he’s been playing so well that it’s hard to want to give him a day off.
“He’s been tremendous for us for most of the year,” says McLellan. “We have to be cognizant of his stamina and his ability to play. He’d play all 82 if you let him, and he believes he can. We have to look for signals of where fatigue does come into play. It’s day-by-day. Nothing is laid out monthly or a two-week period or anything like that. It’s day-by-day.”
Talbot already has three shutouts this season. His career high is five with the Rangers in 2014/15. (jrw)