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Oilers blank Blues

Oilers blank Blues

March 26th, 2013 in News

Jordan Eberle (14) of the Oilers celebrates with teammates Taylor Hall (4) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) after scoring a goal as Alex Pietrangelo of the Blues reacts during Tuesday night's game in St. Louis.

Photo by The Associated Press /News Tribune.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Nikolai Khabibulin is finding his groove after a bumpy start to the season.

The 40-year-old goalie had offseason hip surgery and was put on the injured reserve in late February with a groin injury.

In his second game back, he stopped all 43 shots he faced and Jordan Eberle had two goals and an assist Tuesday and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-0 Tuesday.

Khabibulin played in just six games this season prior to the shutout.

"I feel a lot better than before surgery," he said. "I'm enjoying it. When your body doesn't hurt as much, it makes it more fun."

The victory was the first for the Oilers in four games, which included Khabibulin's return in a 3-0 loss Saturday to the Blues in Edmonton. It was the Oilers' first win in St. Louis since Dec. 11, 2009.

Despite getting a season high in shots, St. Louis lost for the third time in four games and was shut out for the third time this season. It also had a four-game home winning streak snapped.

"A lot of shots in volume, but maybe too many perimeter (shots) and not enough second and third opportunities," David Backes said. "All goalies in the NHL are good and if you're not getting those chances, it's tough to score."

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock kept reporters waiting for 1 hour, 17 minutes after the game.

"You have the same people, they just want different pieces of the pie," Hitchcock said.

Taylor Hall, who assisted on both of Eberle's goals, also scored. It was his eighth of the season off a rebound from Eberle, who skated in on a breakaway.

Khabibulin got his first shutout of the season, and the 46th of his career and his first against the Blues.