Mike Smith made 32 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 Thursday night.
“I feel like we’ve done a lot of good things this year to put us in a good spot right now and I don’t want that to slide away because of goaltending,” said Smith. “It’s a mission I’m on and Mikko (Koskinen) played well when I was out. So I think it’s just nice for him to get kind of a break and for me to get in there and feel like I’m playing really well for the team. And obviously the way we’re playing makes it a lot easier on the goalie too.”
LISTEN BELOW: Mike Smith
The Oilers have won five in a row and 11 of their last 13.
Thatcher Demko shone in the Canucks’ net in the first period. He shot out his left leg to deny Leon Draisaitl of what looked like a sure goal on an Oilers power play. Late in the frame, Demko turned away Jujhar Khaira on a breakaway.
Alex Chiasson opened the scoring on a power play 7:41 into the second. He took a pass in front, whirled around, and banked the shot in off the post. Just over a minute later, Demko stopped Leon Draisaitl on a breakaway. Smith made several big saves as well and had 28 stops after 40 minutes.
With 7:25 to go in the third, Jesse Puljujarvi flipped a rebound past Demko to make it 2-0. Connor McDavid added an empty netter in the final minute.
The Canucks had just four shots on goal in the third. They were 0/4 on the power play while the Oilers were 2/5.
“Special teams was the difference in the game,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “Our PK (penalty kill) did an excellent job. Smitty made some huge saves for us, but the PK — they we’re doing whatever they could to keep it out of the net. Our PP (power play) got a couple of big goals; kind of hard scoring goals around the net so that was good to see.”
LISTEN BELOW: Dave Tippett
The Oilers, 14-8, will host Toronto on Saturday.