Oilers, Habs clash in Edmonton
(SportsNetwork.com) - Devan Dubnyk looks to shake off his slow start to the season on Thursday night as the Edmonton Oilers try for their second victory of the season in a meeting with the Montreal Canadiens.
Dubnyk got the start in Edmonton's first two games of the season, losses to Winnipeg and Vancouver. The 27-year-old was tagged for 10 goals on 59 shots faced in the two games and was lifted early in favor of Jason LaBarbera in defeat versus the Canucks on Oct. 5.
Dubnyk gave up three goals in the first period of that contest, including a pair in the final two minutes of the frame.
"It's two games and I felt good for the majority of the first period last game, so I'll just build off that," Dubnyk said on Wednesday. "I know what I've got to do to go play. I've done it lots before and I'm just excited to go out there and do it again tomorrow."
The six-year vet is 1-0-1 with a 3.29 goals against average and .892 save percentage in two meetings with the Canadiens and gets the call tonight despite LaBarbera helping backstop the Oilers to a 5-4 shootout win over New Jersey on Monday.
LaBarbera made 21 saves on 25 shots faced through overtime, but turned aside both skaters he faced in the shootout, while Edmonton's Jordan Eberle and David Perron converted their chances.
It capped a furious comeback for the Oilers, who trailed by three goals entering the third period before getting four straight tallies from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Andrew Ference, Perron and Taylor Hall.
The Devils did net a tying goal with 54 seconds left in regulation.
"It was a fun game. It's not a situation we want to put ourselves in, but it was a great win. That final period was great," said Nugent-Hopkins, who made his season debut following shoulder surgery.
The Canadiens have lost two of three to begin the season and dropped a 3-2 decision in Calgary last night. Montreal yielded a pair of goals in the first period and trailed by three before getting goals from P.K. Subban and Lars Eller.
Subban also assisted on Eller's third-period tally, but took a late penalty to halt any chance of a comeback.
"We didn't react well to the two mistakes we made in the first period, and it's one of those things where we took some penalties in the third period and we shouldn't have taken those type of penalties," Montreal head coach Michel Therrien said.
Andrei Markov picked up his 400th career point with an assist, while Eller has notched four goals and six points through the first three games.
Carey Price made 22 saves and Therrien could opt to give Peter Budaj his first start of the season as Montreal plays the second contest of its four-game swing through western Canada.
Budaj is 14-6-3 with a 2.92 GAA and .886 save percentage in 24 meetings with the Oilers, while Price is 1-4-1 with a 3.65 GAA and .853 save percentage in six encounters.
All but one of Budaj's encounters with the Oilers came while he was with the Colorado Avalanche. He faced them as a member of the Habs on March 8, 2012 and made 24 saves in a win.
That was the most recent meeting between these clubs, with the Canadiens snapped a three-game series losing streak with the 5-3 road victory. It was also their first victory in the past five trips to Edmonton.
10/10 11:17:15 ET