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Habs Hack-ett Oilers 2-0

Jeff Hackett can thank his goal posts for his fifth shutout of the season.

Hackett made 32 saves as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 Wednesday night.

"Any time you have a shutout, you have to be good and lucky," Hackett said. "I had some luck tonight."

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  • Rem Murray had Edmonton's best scoring opportunities, all in the first period. He hit the goal post twice and shot wide on a breakaway.

    "Once again, those pucks don't go in," Oilers coach Ron Low said. "If Rem scores on his chances, he has a hat trick. We have to come back with the same effort, and hopefully we'll score."

    With the victory, Hackett lowered his goals-against average to 2.21. Hackett has 21 wins since Dec. 26, tops in the league, and has appeared in 16 consecutive games while compiling a 9-5-2 record.

    "I've been on a pretty good roll since I got here in November," said Hackett, who was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks early in the season. "Except for the first five games in Chicago, I've been pretty happy with my play."

    Hackett has a 23-17-8 record and .916 save percentage with the Canadiens.

    Stephane Quintal and Saku Koivu scored for Montreal.

    The loss was another blow to Edmonton's playoff hopes. The Oilers are ninth in the Western Conference, two points behind the eighth-place Calgary Flames.

    Montreal is 11th in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind Boston for the final playoff spot.

    "It just seems we're always chasing Boston," Hackett said. "The Bruins won again tonight."

    Edmonton's woes at the Skyreach Centre continued. The Oilers are 0-14-4 when they give up the first goal on home ice. They are also 0-9-2 when trailing after the first period and 0-13-2 when trailing after the second period at home. Overall, they are 12-17-5 on home ice.

    "We hit two posts and had some good chances," Oilers captain elly Buchberger said. "Obviously it's very disappointing. We just have to keep together and play as a team. We have to play a lot more desperate at home. We can only control our own destiny. We have to win every game."

    Quintal gave Montreal a 1-0 lead with a low shot from the point on a power play at 7:01 of the first period. Koivu made it 2-0 when he beat a screened Tommy Salo with a wrist shot from the circle at 6:33 of the second.

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