for this game

Khabibulin shines as Blackhawks hand Oilers first loss

Oct 23, 2008 - 5:25 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- New coach Joel Quenneville already has begun to turn around the Chicago Blackhawks' fortunes.

Patrick Sharp scored a power-play goal and Nikolai Khabibulin made 23 saves as the Blackhawks handed the Edmonton Oilers their first loss of the season with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday.

Khabibulin recorded his first shutout of the season and 39th career, while Quenneville earned his second win in three tries after taking over for the fired Denis Savard on Thursday.

"He's been very good," Quenneville said of Khabibulin, who has started four regular-season games after not playing at all during the preseason. "It's nice to see a guy who was off for an extended period to come back with a great response."

The Russian netminder recorded his fourth shutout since joining the Blackhawks as a free agent in July 2005 and helped his team record at least one point for the fifth straight game (3-0-2) after opening the campaign with two deflating losses under Savard. Khabibulin turned aside seven shots in the first period, 11 in the second and five in the third.

"The whole team worked well tonight," Khabibulin said. "I was impressed how well we played on defense since Edmonton is a fast team. It might be our best game of the year."

After a torrid finish in 2007-08, the Oilers carried their positive momentum into the new season as they opened with four straight victories for the first time since starting 5-0-0 in 1985-86. However, it did not take long for their hopes of matching that production to be squashed in this one.

"The first period was our undoing. We have not played good in the first period in a few games, and it finally caught up with us," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "It wasn't pretty tonight, and we got what we deserved."

With the man advantage, Sharp netted his fifth goal of the season 2:36 into the first period. Captain Jonathan Toews won a faceoff and fed a centering pass to Sharp, who fired a wrist shot past goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

"It's early yet, but everyone is starting to calm down around here now and we are starting to play better," Sharp said. "It was one of those nights where it was a team effort. Right now, we are finding ways to get the puck to go in. I hope it keeps up."

Starting in place of Mathieu Garon, Roloson fizzled again later in the session, when defenseman Brent Seabrook registered a shorthanded goal with 85 seconds left.

"I think we are doing more things defensively and we are leaning on our sticks more to get the puck down the ice," Seabrook said.

Quenneville echoed Seabrook's thoughts about the team's potent offensive scheme.

"On offense, we are getting more traffic to the net and we have guys causing some interference," Quenneville said. "The shorthanded goal was big. When you score a (shorthander), you break the back of the other team because it's a killer."

Fellow blue-liner Aaron Johnson scored with 7:43 remaining in the game, beating Roloson with a slap shot from just inside the blue line to secure the victory.

"We've had three good games, but I thought this was our best," Quenneville said. "In all areas, we were strong. Our special teams were really good."

Roloson turned aside 27 shots for Edmonton, which had won each of its previous four games by one goal.






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    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Oilers 0, Blackhawks 3  FinalOct 22 11:46 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDMONTON 0 0 0 0
    CHICAGO 2 1 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 5 (JONATHAN TOEWS) 2:36
    CHI - (SH) BRENT SEABROOK 2 (DAVE BOLLAND, KRIS VERSTEEG)
    18:35
    2ND PRD: CHI - AARON JOHNSON 1 (MARTIN HAVLAT, PATRICK SHARP) 12:17
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSION

    Oct 22 11:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDMONTON 0 0 0
    CHICAGO 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 5 (JONATHAN TOEWS) 2:36
    CHI - (SH) BRENT SEABROOK 2 (DAVE BOLLAND, KRIS VERSTEEG)
    18:35
    2ND PRD: CHI - AARON JOHNSON 1 (MARTIN HAVLAT, PATRICK SHARP) 12:17
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Oct 22 10:38 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 0
    CHICAGO 3
    2ND PRD: CHI - AARON JOHNSON 1 (MARTIN HAVLAT, PATRICK SHARP) 12:17

    Oilers 0, Blackhawks 3  2nd - 7:43Oct 22 10:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDMONTON 0 0
    CHICAGO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 5 (JONATHAN TOEWS) 2:36
    CHI - (SH) BRENT SEABROOK 2 (DAVE BOLLAND, KRIS VERSTEEG)
    18:35
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDM 7 7


    Oct 22 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 0
    CHICAGO 2
    1ST PRD: CHI - (SH) BRENT SEABROOK 2 (DAVE BOLLAND, KRIS VERSTEEG)
    18:35

    Oilers 0, Blackhawks 2  1st - 1:25Oct 22 9:49 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Oilers 0, Blackhawks 1  1st - 10:23Oct 22 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 0
    CHICAGO 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 5 (JONATHAN TOEWS) 2:36

    Oilers 0, Blackhawks 1  1st - 17:24Oct 22 9:21 PM
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    Lemonman Added 5 roots

    Oilers vs. BlackhawksOct 22 2:16 AM