Реклама в Интернет * Все Кулички

Rambler's Top100

7 января 2002 года.
Khabibulin stuffs skid // St.Peterburg Times

The goaltender leads Tampa Bay to a 3-0 win over his old team, Phoenix, helping end a five-game losing streak. 

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer

PHOENIX -- The cheer came grudgingly Sunday night from what was left of the crowd of 10,570 at America West Arena. 

Lightning goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin had just been named the first star of Tampa Bay's 3-0 victory over the Coyotes, and the low-level murmur and smattering of applause were validation of a job well done. 

Khabibulin, whose nearly two-year holdout prompted a trade from Phoenix to the Lightning in March, made 33 saves and showed the Coyotes -- and managing partner Wayne Gretzky, who watched from a luxury suite -- what they have been missing. 

"I'm not going to lie, it was nice," said Khabibulin, who had not played in Phoenix since the 1998-99 season. 

"But at this point in the season, we need wins. It doesn't matter to us who it was. We were on a losing streak and we needed a win." 

Khabibulin's triumphant return, and his team-record sixth shutout, was one piece of a much larger puzzle that finally came together for Tampa Bay. 

The win snapped a five-game losing streak and was Tampa Bay's seventh on the road, matching last season's total. 

The Lightning also beat a team that had won four of its past five and had lost just three times at home. 

"You can see Nik was really seeing the puck well and he was playing very well," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "A lot of the hoopla was the contract, but the people involved in that aren't here any more. 

"I'm not sure what goes through his head, but I know for one thing, Nik wanted to stop the losing streak and he was very happy about it." 

Not everyone was ready to give Khabibulin due credit. 

"In all due respect to Khabby, my wife could have played goal and gotten a shutout tonight," Phoenix coach Bob Francis said. "They played good in front of him, which tells you what he means to them, but we didn't generate good chances." 

Francis is correct. Though the Coyotes outshot Tampa Bay 33-24, they never mounted a sustained threat. Much of that was because of Tampa Bay's excellent defensive effort, which clogged the slot and forced much of the play wide. 

The result was long-range shots that kept Khabibulin busy, but not overly challenged. Still, it was a third consecutive solid effort for the goaltender who had allowed 14 goals in his previous four games. 

Khabibulin's 27th career shutout also earned him a yellow hard hat. 

Andreychuk started what may turn into a nice little tradition in which the game's MVP gets a plastic, yellow hard hat that serves the same purpose a game ball does in football. 

Khabibulin, who passed the shutout record of five set in 1995-96 by Daren Puppa, has the task of presenting the hard hat to the team MVP of the Lightning's next game. 

"At the beginning of the game I was a little nervous, but by the end I was feeling a lot better," he said. "I think I'm going to get some confidence from this." 

The team should as well. 

"There's no better way to get out of a slump than to play a good solid game on the road," Tortorella said. 

There were some concerns. 

After outshooting the Coyotes 16-8 in the first period, the Lightning's offensive sensibilities suffered to the point it got just eight more shots. 

That's not good for a team that had been shut out in its two previous games. 

But St. Louis didn't seem to mind. 

"When I wake up I'm not going to be thinking about that," he said. "I'm going to think about the two points we got." 

Страничка Николая Хабибулина на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


11 октября. Показатели Хабибулина продолжают подать. 

7 октября. Воробьев помог Хабибулину одержать первую победу в составе «Блэкхаукс». 

23 сентября. Хабибулин пока не показывает свой лучшей игры. 

5 августа. Хабибулин перебирается в Чикаго. 

29 марта. Хабибулин и Лекавалиер в центре внимания прессы Тампы. 

2 февраля. Николай Хабибулин: "Думать в воротах - непозволительная роскошь" - Спорт-Экспресс

22 ноября. Афанасенков против Хабибулина // "Спорт-Экспресс"

23 октября. Хабибулин и Каспарайтис - в "Ак Барсе" - "Спорт-Экспресс"


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года