Another shutout for Edmonton Oilers’ Mike Smith in 4-0 win over Vegas

Mike Smith made 39 saves for his second straight shutout as the Edmonton Oilers scored a 4-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday afternoon at Rogers Place.

“To have Smitty playing the way he is, when the games matter and this close to playoffs, is a big booster for our club,” Zack Kassian said post-game.

“For us to put a statement game together like that just helps us confidence-wise. Obviously, Smitty played well, the defence moved the puck, the forwards were playing 200-foot games tonight and when you do that, more times than not you’re going to have success.”

The Oilers took a lead on a goal by Kris Russell with 3:34 left in the first. Russell took a pass from Zack Kassian and fired the puck past Logan Thompson. It was Russell’s first goal since March 17, 2019.

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“It rolled on me for a second and I could’ve probably flicked it over the goalie, but I saw Rusty coming down, so I figured I’d give him a shot,” Kassian said. “He bought me a few meals on the road so I figured I’d give him the freebie.”

In the second period, Evan Bouchard drilled a shot and hit teammate Kailer Yamamoto in the right side. Yamamoto left the game for a spell but did eventually return.

“What a warrior,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “It’s a bruise. I was proud of him that he came back and finished the game for us.”

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In the first minute of the third, Cody Ceci fired a shot past a screened Thompson for his fifth. Almost five minutes later, Warren Foegele stole the puck at the Oilers blue line and steamed in alone. His backhand made it 3-0.

​”Different people are finding ways to contribute and that’s what good teams have — a lot of contributing and productive players,” Woodcroft said after the game. “It’s a credit to a lot of work (the players) are putting in.”

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Thompson made a spectacular save halfway through the third, extending his right pad to deny Evander Kane.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would benefit from a goal-mouth scramble when he shoveled a shorthanded goal past Thompson with 4:27 left.

“We are just trying to stay narrow in our focus, and we took care of today’s business. I’m proud of our group today,” Woodcroft said.

Smith had three straight shutouts while with the Phoenix Coyotes from March 29 to April 3, 2012.

The Oilers, 44-26-6, will host Dallas on Wednesday.

— with files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED

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