NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 19th (All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (7-10-3) at Edmonton Oilers (5-15-2), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ilya Bryzgalov show has officially landed on Edmonton, but when the performance will get underway is still unknown.
Instead, Devan Dubnyk is likely to get the start on Tuesday night when the Oilers try to secure their sixth straight home victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Bryzgalov, of course, became a free agent when he had the final six years of an eight-year, $51 million deal bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers. He went 33-16-7 with a 2.48 goals against average and six shutouts in 59 games during his first season with the Flyers, but was just 19-17-3 with a 2.79 GAA in 40 games last season.
Signed by the Oilers on Nov. 8, Bryzgalov made two starts with the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League with mixed results. He gave up five goals on 28 shots in the first game before notching 25 saves in a 4-1 victory the second time out.
Edmonton recalled Bryzgalov from his conditioning stint and he practiced with the Oilers on Monday after backup netminder Jason LaBarbera was placed on waivers.
Despite his appearance, it didn't sound like Bryz will get the start tonight.
"I'm comfortable when (Bryzgalov's) comfortable," said Oilers coach Dallas Eakins of when his new netminder will play. "A lot of this will have to do with if (Dubnyk) can keep rolling like he is. If Dubs keeps going lights out, then he stays in the net."
Dubnyk has been far from lights out this season, going 4-10-1 with a 3.54 GAA in 16 games, but has allowed just six goals over his last three games and notched 33 saves in a 4-2 win over Calgary on Saturday that snapped Edmonton's five-game losing streak.
The Oilers trailed by two goals going into the third period, but got tallies from Boyd Gordon, Jordan Eberle, Ales Hemsky and David Perron to win for just the second time in 12 games.
"Finally in the third period, I thought we had some responses early that our group needed," said Eakins. "This is one that we will certainly try to take home and feel good about ourselves."
The Oilers will play their next three at home and have won five straight and 10 of their last 12 games in Edmonton against Columbus. The Blue Jackets have lost seven of the past 10 overall in this series.
Dubnyk is 6-3-2 with a 2.40 GAA lifetime versus Columbus.
The Blue Jackets are coming off a victory, having bested the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Sunday. Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves, while both Ryan Johansen and Fedor Tyutin had a goal and an assist.
Columbus, which went 3-for-5 on the power play, also got goals from R.J. Umberger and Derek MacKenzie. The Jackets had lost three straight -- all past regulation -- and eight of nine coming in.
"We got some great play from our leaders and all four lines worked well," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards. "We had great goaltending, the defense looked good, there's lots of things you can look at to see why we won this game."
Columbus won the opener of a five-game swing, snapping a six-game losing streak on the road, and Bobrovsky came 2:27 away from the shutout. He should start tonight and is 2-2-0 with a 2.16 GAA in his career versus the Oilers.
Bobrovsky backed up Bryzgalov for a season in Philadelphia before getting dealt to Columbus prior to the lockout-shortened campaign. He went 21-11-6 with a 2.00 GAA and four shutouts with the Blue Jackets, winning the Vezina Trophy.
11/19 10:33:46 ET