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game recap

RNH shines, Khabibulin stops 19 in 2-0 shutout win

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM

Ryan Dittrick - edmontonoilers.com

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RNH shines, Khabibulin stops 19 in 2-0 shutout win
New York Rangers 0, Edmonton Oilers 2
Three Stars of the Game
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
1st
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:04
Nikolai Khabibulin
2nd
SA: 19TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 14-14
PIM: 0PP: 4-4
SV%: 1.000SH: 1-1
Taylor Hall
3rd
G: 0Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 17:12

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins recorded a goal and an assist, while Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 19 shots as the Oilers blanked the Rangers 2-0 Saturday night at Rexall Place.

Khabibulin improves his record to 2-0-2 with the win, as well as establishing league-best numbers with a 0.72 goals-against average and .969 save percentage.

FIRST PERIOD

The game's best chance came nearly six minutes in when the normally sure-handed Ryan Whitney coughed up the puck to a streaking Ruslan Fedotenko in the slot. Nikolai Khabibulin, who was out of his crease handling the puck behind his cage, scampered back and made a sliding stop to preserve the scoreless tie.

As the period's 10-minute mark passed, the Oilers had gained a 5-2 shot advantage and were able to responded with a scoring chance of their own. Anton Lander sprung Ben Eager with a well-placed neutral zone pass, allowing No. 55 to skate in one-on-one with Rangers 'tender Henrik Lundqvist; the quick, on-the-ice shot was denied, however.

At 10:31, the Oilers were granted the game's first power-play when Marian Gaborik was assessed a tripping minor, hauling lumbering rearguard Andy Sutton to the ice behind the home side's net.

A quick, behind-the-back pass by Ryan Smyth set up the snake-bit Magnus Paajarvi with what appeared to be a tap in but, with a moment's hesitation, No. 91 corralled the disc, allowing Lundqvist to slide over and rob the winger with an amazing sliding denial.

The Oilers opened up an 11-4 shot lead through 20 minutes, but were unable to cash on King Henrik.

SECOND PERIOD

1:47 into the period, Sutton picked up a holding minor, putting the Rangers on the power-play in search of a goal. Sutton also dropped the mitts with New York's Brandon Prust on the play, but the short-lived scrap lacked 'punch.' The ensuing man-advantage passed without incident and the 0-0 game continued.

On the Oilers' 15th shot at 10:09, the home side broke the ice. Taylor Hall burst down the wing on a partial 3-on-1 chance. He dropped the puck back into the slot where Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scooped it, making a quick shot blocker-side on Lundqvist for the 1-0 goal.

The 4-93-14 connection continued to produce, peppering the Rangers netminder with several high-quality chances moments later, but were unable to extend the lead. In the process, mind you, the Oilers' commanding shot lead had opened to a 19-9 advantage.

With 4:12 to play, the Oilers were charged with too many men, sending the Rangers to their second power-play opportunity. That man-advantage was pushed to a 58-second 5-on-3 when Corey Potter was issued a hooking minor.

The Rangers could only register a single shot, while the two-minute advantage's best chance came from the Oilers, shorthanded; out of the box, Taylor Hall was sprung on a breakaway, but his backhand attempt denied.

THIRD PERIOD

A slashing minor to New York's Kris Newbury at 19:59 of the second put the Oilers on their second power-play to open the period. The Oilers' red-hot, 15th ranked PP was unable to snatch an insurance marker.

Just as quickly, another call to the Rangers presented the Oilers with a chance to extend the lead when Mike Rupp was charged with hooking. Edmonton's power-play, operating at a 16-percent clip, made good this around around. Nugent-Hopkins delivered the puck to Corey Potter at the point, who stepped into a bullet that eluded the Rangers netminder up top, glove-side.

With a 2-0 lead now in possession, the Oilers went back to the PK when Andy Sutton was called for hooking at 4:18. Nikolai Khabibulin came up big, stoning Marian Gabork on a breakaway to preserve his club's lead.

Pitching 22 saves on the Oilers' 24 shots, Lundqvist vacated the Rangers goal and headed to the locker room near the nine-minute mark. Martin Biron, No. 43, assumed duty between the pipes in his place.

An interference minor to Hall with only 2:39 on the clock put the Rangers back on the power-play looking to dent the Oilers' 2-0 advantage. Biron was also pulled with 2:05 remaining, establishing a lengthy two-man visiting advantage.

As the Oilers looked to score in the vacated net, New York's Brandon Dubinsky took a hooking minor to cut the Rangers' advantage. In doing so, the remaining seconds elapsed as the Oilers secured a 2-0 shutout win.

Follow me on Twitter | @ryandittrick

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
10:09
EDM
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (5) ASST: Taylor Hall (4), Jordan Eberle (4)
1 - 0 EDM
3rd Period
04:03
EDM
PPG - Corey Potter (1) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2), Jordan Eberle (5)
2 - 0 EDM
penalty summary
1st Period
10:31
NYR
Marian Gaborik  Tripping against  Andy Sutton
2nd Period
01:43
EDM
Andy Sutton  Holding against  Brandon Prust
01:43
EDM
Andy Sutton  Fighting (maj) against  Brandon Prust
01:43
NYR
Brandon Prust  Fighting (maj) against  Andy Sutton
15:48
EDM
Taylor Hall  Too many men/ice - bench
16:51
EDM
Corey Potter  Hooking against  Marian Gaborik
19:59
NYR
Kris Newbury  Slashing against  Anton Lander
3rd Period
03:23
NYR
Mike Rupp  Hooking against  Cam Barker
04:18
EDM
Andy Sutton  Hooking against  Brandon Prust
17:21
EDM
Taylor Hall  Interference against  Derek Stepan
18:57
NYR
Brandon Dubinsky  Hooking against  Ryan Smyth
goalie stats
Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist
2-2-2
SA: 24TOI: 48:25
Saves: 22EV: 18 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .917SH: 1 - 1
Martin Biron
Martin Biron
SA: 3TOI: 9:42
Saves: 3EV: 3 - 3
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 19TOI: 60:00
Saves: 19EV: 14 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1