by Lisa McRitchie on 11/04/11 at 05:00 AM ET
Oilers extend winning streak to 6 with 3-0 win over the Kings
The Edmonton Oilers began their six game road trip in Los Angeles against a team that featured several ex Oilers; Matt Greene, Jarret Stoll, Ethan Moreau, and most recent addition Dustin Penner. The Kings and their fans are of course unhappy with the Oilers due to Dustin Penner’s production with the team, that Ryan Smyth asked for a trade back to the Oilers, and that Colin Fraser has yet to play a game as a King. As the Oilers left Staples Centre, Kings’ fans were not any more pleased.
Nikolai Khabibulin continued his hot streak and earned his second shutout of the season and increased his goals allowed average to 0.98 and save percentage to 0.963. The Minnesota Wild’s Josh Harding has overtaken Khabibulin as league leader for save percentage with 0.964 but everyone knew that it would be impossible for Khabibulin to maintain top standing indefinitely. If you had picked Khabibulin for your fantasy team at the beginning of the season, you were likely the only one, but good for you for taking a chance. Khabibulin has been outstanding for the Oilers, and so has Devan Dubnyk. This can only help to bolster the confidence of the rest of the team.
On the Oilers offensive side, Ryan Smyth scored his sixth goal of the season tying Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for points but Smyth now has one more goal than Nugent-Hopkins. There are some who are concerned that Nugent-Hopkins hasn’t scored or earned any points on the road yet, but this is only the team’s fourth road game and Nugent-Hopkins will surely find the back of the net before the end of this road trip.
Ryan Jones should have scored on a number of occasions, but Jonathan Quick was just that, too quick and Jones was kept off of the scoring sheet. One who finally made it onto the scoring sheet was Lennart Petrell who scored his first NHL goal at the age of 27. The Oilers have made NHL news because of their youth, but there are two players on this roster who are late bloomers and only now looking to make it into the league on a regular basis. Petrell has played several years now in Finnland and through a strong training camp earned a place on the team above fellow Finn Teemu Hartikainen. Petrell’s goal also put Anton Lander on the scoring sheet and for another first as well. Lander now has his first NHL point, but his first goal still eludes him.
The other late bloomer is Corey Potter, the Oilers third goal scorer and played an impressive 21:05 of ice time through sixty minutes. Although Potter did not lead the Oilers in ice time, Potter has proven himself as a responsible defenceman and with Cam Barker and Ryan Whitney out due to injury coach Tom Renney needed to see the healthy defenceman step up.
This was the first NHL game for Colten Teubert, acquired from the Kings on trade deadline day this spring. Teubert did not score during his first game, but he also didn’t allow goals. Many were unsure how Teubert would react to his call-up, but it appears that any worries were for naught. Teubert didn’t look out of place or in over his head. Barker has travelled with the team, but at last report has been skating with a no contact jersey. Teubert may get another few games in before returning to the Oklahoma City Barons.
Teubert was definitely excited about playing his first NHL game; “What a incredible moment! I’m happy my family got to see me in my first NHL game with a huge muzzy #Movember plus a beauty win @NHL_Oilers”
Ladislav Smid continues to lead the NHL in blocked shots adding five tonight for a grand total of 45, only 12 games into the season. Smid’s impressive game as a shut down defenceman earned his the second star of the game.
The third star of the game was Tom Gilbert. Gilbert has been winning back the affections of fans this year as he has picked up his physical play. Gilbert has been leading the team for time on ice, and the Oilers have been winning; this is just another way to make Oiler fans like you.
This most recent win brings the Oilers to six wins in a row, a feat not seen since March of 2002. In 2002, the Oilers didn’t stop at six, they kept it going to nine. Will the Oilers manage more than that? Only time will tell, but in an effort not to get too carried away, let’s just focus on the next game against the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Phoenix Coyotes will have a Buck Bash on Saturday night, with beer, soda and hot dogs for a dollar so there may be a good number of fans in the crowd this Saturday night. The Coyotes are now 6-4-2, the Oilers are 8-2-2 and once again top in the west but a game like this may be the most difficult for the team.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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