Oilers continue hot start with rout of Kings, win-streak at six
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped all 19 shots he faced, helping the Edmonton Oilers extend their winning streak to six with a 3-0 victory over the Los Angles Kings Thursday night at Staples Center. Khabibulin had to stop only 19 L.A. shots as his teammates blocked 22 shots. The teamwork gave the 38-year-old Khabibulin his 45th career shutout.
Los Angeles, CA, United States
November 4, 2011 11:08 am EDT
Sports, Ice Hockey, National Hockey League
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped all 19 shots he faced, helping the Edmonton Oilers extend their winning streak to six with a 3-0 victory over the Los Angles Kings Thursday night at Staples Center.
Khabibulin had to stop only 19 L.A. shots as his teammates blocked 22 shots in front of him. The teamwork gave the 38-year-old Khabibulin his 45th career shutout.
The stellar effort by Khabibulin, who went 10-32-4 with a 3.40 GAA last season after back surgery, enabled the four-time NHL All-Star goalie to lower his NHL-leading GAA to 0.98.
Former King Ryan Smyth, who was booed all night in his return to L.A., shattered the scoreless tie 11:26 into the second period with his team-leading sixth goal of the season.
The 35-year-old Alberta native Smyth, who requested the Kings to trade him to the Oilers this past offseason, made his NHL debut during the 1994-95 campaign. Smyth spent his first 12 seasons in Edmonton.
Smyth’s goal was also the first one allowed by Kings netminder Jonathan Quick at home this season.
Lennart Petrell, playing in his 11th NHL contest, tallied his first NHL goal and made it 2-0 with 2:22 in the second period.
Corey Potter also lit the lamp for Edmonton, making it 3-0 at 1:06 of the third frame and sealing the victory, the sixth in a row and eighth of the Oilers’ (8-2-2) first 12 games.
It marked the first time Edmonton has notched eight victories in its first 12 games since the 1986-87 season when the Oilers captured the third of their five Stanley Cup titles in seven years.
It is an amazing turnaround for the club, which finished last in the NHL last season for the second straight year.
The Oilers claimed their eighth triumph in their 24th contest last season.
Quick, who came with a second-best 1.52 GAA, ended with 24 saves in the third straight overall for the Kings.
It also marked first time the Kings have been shut out in consecutive games at Staples Center. In their previous home game on Oct. 25, Los Angeles succumbed to New Jersey, 3-0.
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