EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)Mike Smith made 39 saves for his second consecutive shutout and 44th overall and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0 on Saturday.
Edmonton moved six points ahead of Los Angeles for second place in the Pacific Division – and seven points clear of Vegas. The Oilers are 14-3-2 in their last 19 games.
The 40-year-old Smith is the seventh goalie 40 and older with back-to-back shutouts in NHL history. He made 30 saves Thursday night in a 4-0 home victory over Nashville.
”At this time of the season, you want to be on the top of your game and be a big reason why you’re headed to the playoffs and in the playoffs and playing your best games to give the team the best chance to win,” said Smith, the winner of six straight starts.
”That’s all I’ve been focused on. I’m not dwelling on what’s happened before or in the past. That’s out of my control now, so I’ve been focused on my next game and really been working hard to get it back on the rails and feel like my last month or so I’ve been really playing some solid hockey.”
Evander Kane had a goal and an assist and Kris Russell, Cody Ceci and Warren Foegele also scored. Logan Thompson made 32 saves for Vegas.
”We got contributions from up and down the lineup,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. ”Different people are finding ways to contribute, and that’s what good teams have – a lot of contributing and productive players. The way we’re asking our players to play is not an easy style. But our players are putting the work in and it’s fun to see them execute.”
The Golden Knights have lost three of five.
”We have to regroup,” Vegas coach Pete DeBoer said. ”We’ve talked about this, we knew we weren’t going to run the table and we talked about two weeks ago, we were going to drop some points along the way, but we’re still right in the thick of things. We have to have a short memory and get ready for the next one.”
Russell opened the scoring with 3:24 left in the first period. The defenseman blasted a shot past Thompson for his first goal in 126 games.
The Oilers made it 2-0 just 35 seconds into the third period when Ceci used Jesse Puljujarvi;s screen to send a point shot past Thompson.
Foegele stole a puck from Alec Martinez at the Edmonto blue line and took it all the way to the Vegas net to score his 12th at 5:16 of the third.
Kane added a short-handed goal with 4:27 left, poking home his 17th after a great effort from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to get it to the net.
Golden Knights: Host New Jersey on Monday night.
Oilers: Host Dallas on Wednesday night.