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Dubnyk gets nod as Oilers challenge Blue Jackets

by Jon Lane

BLUE JACKETS (7-10-3) at OILERS (5-15-2)


Last 10: Columbus 2-5-3; Edmonton 2-7-1

Season series: The Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers play the first of two games with the Oilers traveling to Columbus on Nov. 29. Edmonton defeated Columbus 6-4 on March 28 when Ales Hemsky scored the go-ahead goal with 3:08 remaining.

Big story: Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is back in the NHL with the Oilers after his recall from Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League on Sunday. As timing had it, Bryzgalov was in position to start against his former Philadelphia Flyers teammate, Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, but that won't be happening. Oilers coach Dallas Eakins told reporters Monday that incumbent starter Devan Dubnyk will get the call.

"Devan has played well and we're going to keep him rolling," Eakins said.


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Team Scope:

Blue Jackets: Columbus was powered by its special teams in a 4-1 win against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. The Blue Jackets were a season-best 3-for-5 on the power play and held the Senators off the board with the man advantage until a late 5-on-3 goal by Erik Karlsson. Columbus has killed 22 of 25 power plays in its past eight games (88 percent) and is tied for second with three shorthanded goals.

"It was a big win for our team," coach Todd Richards said. "Five games in a row with points, hopefully we're starting to feel confident going out on the ice."

Oilers: Edmonton's 4-2 win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday ended a five-game losing streak a few days after general manager Craig MacTavish met the media to give his state of a team that had just four victories in 20 games. The Oilers scored four third-period goals to rally from a 2-0 deficit and are hoping it will provide a spark.

"I think getting the goals when we needed them, I think coming from behind in a game when you seemed out of it in the first period, but we were able to survive it because of Dubs. It gives you a spark," Eakins said following practice Monday. "It gives the individuals some confidence scoring goal and making some pays offensively."

Who's hot: Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno is on a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists) and has two goals and seven points in his past eight games. RJ Umberger has five goals and nine points with three game-winning goals in his past 13. Brandon Dubinsky has four goals and 12 points in his past 12. Ryan Johansen has six goals and 12 points in his past 15, and leads Columbus in goals and ranks third in points … Dubnyk made 33 saves in the Oilers' win Saturday and has allowed six goals in his past three games.

Injury report: Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton (shoulder surgery) took part in an optional skate Monday. There remains no timetable for him to make his Columbus debut. Matt Calvert (abdominal surgery) is with the team and Richards is targeting a return Tuesday or Wednesday. Cody Bass (broken thumb) and Marian Gaborik (sprained knee) are on injured reserve … Justin Schultz (strained groin/rib cage) could return for the Oilers on Tuesday. "Probably the best I've felt," he said Monday. "I'm really close. I'll wake up [Tuesday] and see how I feel." Five other Oilers are on IR: Steve MacIntyre (knee), Corey Potter (strained back), Ryan Hamilton (knee), Tyler Pitlick (sprained left knee) and Richard Bachman (strained groin).


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