It's a daunting task, but Devan Dubnyk
isn't quibbling with the timing of taking over as starting goaltender for the Edmonton Oilers
now that Nikolai Khabibulin
has been put on injured reserve with a groin strain.
Dubnyk, 24, who has 23 NHL games to his credit, will start Friday against the Phoenix Coyotes
at Rexall Place with the Oilers in a throes of a five-game winless streak. It's a stretch in which they have been outscored 30-8.
"It's exciting to get an opportunity at any time," Dubnyk said. "When you get a chance to play games in the NHL you have to be grateful, be excited about it and take the opportunity to go and play.
"We might have some tough games, but we've got to rebound at some point and we're going to do that. It might as well be now."
Dubnyk played the third period in Wednesday's 5-0 loss to Chicago and gave up one goal on 16 shots. In four games this season, he's 0-0-2 with a 2.99 goals-against average and .923 saves percentage.
"It's exciting to get an opportunity at any time. When you get a chance to play games in the NHL you have to be grateful, be excited about it and take the opportunity to go and play."
-- Devan Dubnyk
"He's looked very good in the little bit he's played so far," coach Tom Renney said. "He's got a terrific disposition for the position. His teammates feel good with him in the net. He brings a certain level of poise and composure to the position that you have to have in the heat of the battle. My hope is we can play well enough in front of him that it's not a barrage."
Long wait -- Martin Gerber
will be Dubnyk's backup after being recalled from AHL Oklahoma City.
Gerber, 36, was 9-4-0 with a 2.56 GAA, .911 save percentage and one shutout in 13 games with the Barons.
A veteran of 226 NHL games, Gerber hasn't started a regular season game since April 11, 2009, when he made 37 saves for the Toronto Maple Leafs
in a 5-2 win against the Ottawa Senators
. Gerber spent the 2009-10 season in the KHL.
Around the rink --
The Oilers have allowed a club-record 12 straight goals -- the last seven goals of last Sunday's 8-2 loss to the New York Rangers
at Madison Square Garden and then five more in Wednesday's 5-0 loss to Chicago. ... Wednesday's 3-1 defeat of the Flames pushed the Coyotes' win streak to four games. ... Coyotes captain Shane Doan
, out since Nov. 5 with a lower-body injury, skated during Friday's morning practice, but likely won't return to the lineup until Sunday's game in Vancouver. ... Gilbert Brule
, without a point in his last seven games, will be a healthy scratch for the Oilers.