Everybody knows that a deep playoff run in the NHL playoffs requires strong goaltending. On Friday night, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot was the best player on the ice and was absolutely dominant as the Oilers stole Game 2 from the Anaheim Ducks, taking a 2-0 lead in the series.
Talbot turned aside 39 of 40 shots in a 2-1 road victory. He was especially outstanding in the third period, when he faced 16 shots. The only goal he allowed came while his team was shorthanded on a perfect wrist shot from Jakob Silfverberg.
“The guys are doing a great job in front of me,” Talbot said. “I’m finding some of those pucks that maybe I wouldn’t have found before. That’s what you need in the playoffs. You’re not going to win without goaltending.”
The 29-year-old netminder is 6-2 with a .934 save percentage and 2.03 goals-against average through eight games this postseason. He went 42-22-8 with a .919 save percentage and 2.39 goals-against average in 73 starts during the regular season, more than any other goalie.
“He was stellar for us,” Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera said. “He won us the game. He made huge saves when we needed him. He was being Cam, as he has the whole season. We are happy he’s in the net.”
Sekera scored his first goal of the postseason to give the Oilers an early 1-0 lead just 1:05 into the game, and Patrick Maroon potted a power-play marker to make it 2-0 at 6:41 of the second period. Silfverberg’s goal cut the lead in half at 15:34 of the second, but Talbot made the next 18 stops to secure the win.
While Talbot was the backbone of the team in Game 2, this Oilers squad has played very well throughout the playoffs, especially in a tight series against the favored Ducks. Considering the number of young players with no playoff experience on the team, I am so proud of my Oilers holding a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Every player on this team knows he did just enough to get the victory in Game 2.
The series shifts to Edmonton for Game 3 Sunday night. The home crowd will keep the energy up for sure. This young team has never had a 2-0 series margin with which to work, so it will be intriguing to see how they respond. Anaheim is certainly not going to go away without a fight.
Featured Image Credit: Chris Carlson-AP