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Edmonton
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32-40-10
Montréal
Canadiens
31-35-16

14 SOG
29 SOG
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game recap

Khabibulin stands tall; Oilers win 3-1 in Montreal

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM

Ryan Dittrick - edmontonoilers.com

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Khabibulin stands tall; Oilers win 3-1 in Montreal
Edmonton Oilers 3, Montréal Canadiens 1
Three Stars of the Game
Nikolai Khabibulin
1st
SA: 29TOI: 60:00
GA: 1EV: 25-26
PIM: 0PP: 3-3
SV%: .966SH: 0-0
Ryan Jones
2nd
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 14:28
Mike Cammalleri
3rd
Mike Cammalleri
G: 0Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 0PIM: 0
+/-: -2TOI: 20:33

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Ryan Jones (shorthanded), Tom Gilbert and Ryan Smyth each scored, while Nikolai Khabibulin stood tall, stopping 28 shots to down the Canadiens 3-1 Tuesday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC.

FIRST PERIOD

The Canadiens were provided with the game's best chance three minutes in when PK Subban stepped into a long-range bullet, but starter Nikolai Khabibulin kicked the puck aside with his right pad to preserve the 0-0 score.

An interference minor to Hall Gill at 4:46 put the Oilers' 18.5-percent power-play to work. With Taylor Hall and Corey Potter patrolling the point, the orange and blue peppered Carey Price with several high-quality chances, but were denied. With 14 seconds remaining in the chance, Sam Gagner picked up a tripping minor, turning the 5-on-4 tables at 6:32.

The Oilers improved on their 88-percent success rate on the PK, but were put right back to the disadvantage when a tripping minor to Cam Barker provided with the home side with another chance to score. The Habs came oh-so-close, cranking iron when Michael Cammalleri blasted Khabibulin's blocker-side post (losing his weapon in the process), but were unable to cash.

Up 4-2 in shots at 12:04, the Oilers went back to the power-play when Tomas Plekanec was assessed a tripping minor in the visitors' end. The Oilers added a pair of late-advantage attempts, but were stoned by Price.

The brisk-paced opening period came to a close with the Oilers up 6-4 in shots, but no goals were scored in either net.

SECOND PERIOD

2:04 into the period, the Canadiens almost orchestrated the icebreaker. Following an ill-advised neutral-zone turnover, Erik Cole broke in on a 2-on-1 with Cammalleri. Montreal's No. 20 connected the pass, sliding the puck toward the gaping cage, but Khabibulin came up with split-saving stop to keep the game knotted.

Moments later, the Oilers replied with a scoring chance of their own. With Lennart Petrell down low banging bodies, Ben Eager centred to a wide-open Anton Lander in the slot. The 20-year-old snapped the puck on Price, but right into the bread-basket as the game remained scoreless.

A hooking minor to Petrell at 4:11 put the Oilers down a man once more, but it didn't matter. Ryan Jones scooped a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated in alone, one-on-one vs. Price on a breakaway. No. 28 deked to his backhand, depositing the puck through the Canadiens 'tender to put the Oilers up 1-0.

The penalties continued to come at 7:53 when Hall was charged with hooking, sending the Oilers' 3-for-3 PK back onto the ice. The advantage's best chance, again, came at the Canadiens' expense. Ryan Smyth darted in on a breakaway, attempting a similar move to Jones, but was stopped as Price swatted the puck to the corner.

With 5:32 on the clock, the Oilers were charged with too many men, putting the home side back on the power-play in search of a goal. Another penalty to Theo Peckham put the Canadians on a quick, 12-second 5-on-3.

Once that passed, the one-man advantage continued for 1:48. Khabibulin's right pad continued to shine, as the 38-year-old veteran made a precision post-to-post save to quell the Canadiens' PP.

The Oilers were up 1-0 but trailed 17-10 on the shot clock with 40 minutes in the books.

THIRD PERIOD

Three minutes into the period, Khabibulin was forced to come up big once again. A goal-mouth scramble allowed Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta to hack at three separate opportunities, but the Bulin Wall denied them all.

Moments later, Cole and Cammalleri choreographed another 2-on-1 chance, but Khabibulin made a sensational save to preserve his team's 1-0 edge.

With 11:45 remaining, Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth connected on the rush, but No. 94's one-time attempt struck the cross-bar, keeping the 1-0 score on the board.

As the period's 10-minute mark passed, Montreal held a commanding 23-11 lead in shots but were unable to register the 1-1 marker.

At 16:28, Tom Gilbert put the Oilers up by a pair. His long-range wrister pinballed in, using Josh Gorges' stick as a redirection point to elude Price's grasp, 22 seconds later, however, the Canadiens pulled within one. Max Pacioretty broke down the wing, sliding by Gilbert and placing a backhand shot blocker-side on Khabibulin to make it 2-1.

The Canadiens pulled Price with 1:03 to go, looking to cash the 2-2 goal. Within moments, mind you, Ryan Smyth carried the puck down the ice and scored into the empty net to secure a hard-fought 3-1 win in Montreal.

Follow me on Twitter | @ryandittrick

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
04:38
EDM
SHG - Ryan Jones (3) ASST: NONE
1 - 0 EDM
3rd Period
16:28
EDM
Tom Gilbert (2) ASST: Ales Hemsky (2), Ryan Smyth (7)
2 - 0 EDM
16:50
MTL
Max Pacioretty (6) ASST: Tomas Plekanec (9), P.K. Subban (4)
2 - 1 EDM
19:17
EDM
EN - Ryan Smyth (7) ASST: Shawn Horcoff (6)
3 - 1 EDM
penalty summary
1st Period
04:46
MTL
Hal Gill  Interference against  Ben Eager
06:32
EDM
Sam Gagner  Tripping against  Jaroslav Spacek
09:07
EDM
Cam Barker  Tripping against  Mike Cammalleri
12:04
MTL
Tomas Plekanec  Tripping against  Tom Gilbert
2nd Period
04:11
EDM
Lennart Petrell  Hooking against  Alexei Emelin
07:23
EDM
Taylor Hall  Hooking against  P.K. Subban
14:28
EDM
Ben Eager  Too many men/ice - bench
16:16
EDM
Theo Peckham  Interference against  P.K. Subban
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 29TOI: 60:00
Saves: 28EV: 25 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .966SH: 0 - 0
Carey Price
Carey Price
5-6-2
SA: 13TOI: 59:20
Saves: 11EV: 6 - 7
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .846SH: 1 - 2