Once again, the Edmonton Oilers leaned on goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin to right their wrongs.

The 38-year-old was the difference in a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at the Bell Centre. He turned away 28 shots, was impenetrable during six penalty kills, and were it not for a puck that went in off the stick of defenceman Tom Gilbert, he would have had his third shutout of the season.

"I'm glad Khabby found the rink tonight. It took the other guys a little while to get here," said coach Tom Renney. "He was very, very good when he needed to be, which was pretty much start to finish.

"That may be one of our poorer performances in front of him."