Nikolai Khabibulin (Dan Nicholas, Wikimedia Commons)
If you are cautiously waiting for the Edmonton Oilers to self-implode, well folks, it simply hasn’t happened yet.
On Thursday night in southern California, Nikolai Khabibulin recorded his second shutout of the season, as the Oilers completely outplayed the Los Angeles Kings in winning 3-0. Khabibulin made 19 saves.
The Oilers now have a record of 8-2-2 and are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the best record in the Western Conference. Believe it Oiler fans! Believe!
But it wasn’t the household name rookies that were the offensive stars Thursday. It was the skill of center Lennart Petrell and Corey Potter that got them through.
Petrell, who the Oilers signed to a one year deal on the advice of legendary winger Jari Kurri, scored his first career NHL goal to make it 2-0 Oilers. Another interesting fact here is that Anton Lander, the Oilers’ second round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, recorded an assist and his first NHL point.
Corey Potter, who the Oilers signed from the New York Rangers on July 1, also found the back of the net past Jonathan Quick.
And, oh yes, who could forget Ryan Smyth, who was playing in his first game back in Los Angeles to a chorus of California boos, scored the game winning goal.