Bad bounces no bother to 'Bulin

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

He's got enough to handle with opposing shooters, Nikolai Khabibulin doesn't need his own teammates directing pucks past him.

Last night, two of the four goals that were scored on the Edmonton Oilers goalie went in off those who are supposed to be helping him.

"It's part of the game, I guess," said Khabibulin. "Sometimes that happens. It's not like they're doing it on purpose, so what can you do?"

In the first period, Stars captain Brenden Morrow centred a puck that bounced off J.F. Jacques' skate and past the Oilers goaltender.

In the third, the Stars' Stephane Robidas fired a shot from the point that went of defenceman Steve Staios' stick and deflected into the corner of the net.

Ladislav Smid also had a puck bounce off him and into the net in the Oilers season-opening loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

"As much as it's frustrating, at the same time I've played enough to know that it's not going to stay that way forever," said Khabibulin.

"Eventually our luck is going to change. Things like that are going to bounce out and we're going to get the breaks. If you keep working hard, then the breaks will start going your way."

Despite the bad bounces, Khabibulin was able to collect his first win as an Oiler, stopping all three Stars shooters in the shootout. The win was the 300th of his career.

"I thought I played better tonight, but there are definitely some things I need to polish," Khabibulin said. "I'll work on them tomorrow and practice and go from there. After a win, it's a little easier to work on things in practice and tomorrow is a new day."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.C


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