Grant Fuhr returned to the NHL from a season-long suspension for substance abuse and it brought something not seen from the Edmonton Oilers in a long time -- good hockey and his ninth career shutout.
Fuhr came back in spectacular, almost story-book fashion last night, turning aside 27 shots in his first game in almost a year as the Oilers beat the New Jersey Devils, 4-0, in East Rutherford, N.J.
It was the Oilers' first shutout since a 7-0 playoff victory over Los Angeles on April 18 and first in the regular season since a 5-0 win over Minnesota with Bill Ranford in goal on Dec. 19, 1989.
It was Fuhr's first shutout since a 3-0 victory over Buffalo on Nov. 17, 1989.
Not only was Fuhr spectacular, so were his teammates. They certainly didn't look like a team that had lost its last three games and six of the last seven.
The Oilers denied the Devils a shot on goal for the opening 6:38. Petr Klima, Joe Murphy, Craig MacTavish and Glenn Anderson scored in the first two periods. They also killed six Devils power plays and scored a shorthanded goal.
Fuhr stopped 18 shots in the opening two periods, and several were spectacular, including a sprawling pad save on Eric Weinrich 7:46 into the game.
Fuhr's best saves came in a five-second span shortly after Jeff Beukeboom was penalized for interference at 13:14 of the first period. The Devils set up Peter Stastny at the right edge of the net and Fuhr stopped him twice.