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Dubnyk ready to shoulder the load if Oilers ask

by Robin Brownlee /
EDMONTON -- Fresh off his first career shutout, Devan Dubnyk could start carrying more of the workload for the Edmonton Oilers the rest of this season, starting Wednesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dubnyk, 24, kicked aside all 37 shots he faced as the Oilers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-0 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday in just his 19th appearance of the season.

"Absolutely," said Dubnyk, asked if he'd prefer more work in Edmonton's final 29 games. "That's a great opportunity.

"I'll continue to work regardless of what the situation is, but that would be great. If you ask any goalie, we all want to play and I'm no different. I've got to earn every start I get."

While Nikolai Khabibulin has lost his last 13 starts, Dubnyk improved to 6-5-6 with the win in Nashville. The former Kamloops Blazer, selected 14th by Edmonton in 2004, has a goals-against average of 2.74 and a .917 save percentage.

Dubnyk has made just 38 appearances for the Oilers since the start of last season, but after jumping ahead of Jeff Deslauriers last season in the battle to be the backup for Khabibulin, he has made a case to see increased action down the stretch.

"You have to stay level," said Dubnyk, asked about the confidence gained from his performance in Nashville.

"You can't get so high off a big win that there's a letdown the next game, and you can't get too low if you don't play very well. At the same time, any time you can take any sort of confidence and carry it on to the next game, you try to do it for sure."

Around the rink: With a 3-1 loss in Calgary on Monday, the Blackhawks continue a six-game road trip having lost four of their last five games overall. ... The Oilers are 8-14-4 at Rexall Place and have won just one of their last nine games at home. ... Chicago has won five straight games at Rexall Place, including a 5-0 victory Nov. 17 in its last visit. ... The Oilers beat the Blackhawks in the first two meetings between the teams this season, both at the United Center, winning 7-4 on Oct. 29 and 2-1 on Nov. 7. ... Jonathan Toews leads all scorers after the first three games of the season series with 4 goals and 5 points, and he's recorded 8-5-13 in his last seven games against the Oilers, while Ales Hemsky leads Edmonton with 3 goals and 4 points. ... Associate coach Ralph Krueger will run Edmonton's bench because Tom Renney is away attending a family matter.
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