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Dubnyk solid again in Coyotes' win vs. Oilers

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- Arizona Coyotes goaltender Devan Dubnyk did not anticipate a video tribute from his former team Sunday at Rexall Place considering the circumstances surrounding his departure.

But as much as Dubnyk appreciated the first-period scoreboard tribute, it paled in comparison to beating the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in his first regular-season start against them.

Dubnyk made 33 saves against the Oilers and was named the game's first star. Dubnyk was the Oilers starting goaltender last season before losing his job and eventually being traded away.

It was Dubnyk's second consecutive victory; he made 35 saves Friday in a 2-0 win at the Vancouver Canucks.

"It does [feel good]," Dubnyk said. "I tried not to think about it too much and tried to build off of my last game and things I did well. That helped take away from the situation and not letting it get to me. It felt good from the start and they played a good game out there and we found a way to get a good road win."

Coyotes defenseman Brandon Gormley and left wing Mikkel Boedker scored for Arizona. Taylor Hall, in his first game back from a knee injury, scored for the Oilers; Ben Scrivens stopped 26 shots.

"We hung around for a while, Dubnyk was really good," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "It was a little bit like [Friday] night, we gave up some shots from outside, but our penalty killing did a heck of a job, blocked a lot of shots, got in a lot of lanes. It was kind of an ugly road game that we'll take the points and move on."

The win marked the 15th consecutive time the Coyotes have managed at least a point against the Oilers. Edmonton has not defeated Arizona in regulation since a 4-3 win on Jan. 25, 2011.

"[Dubnyk] was great for us. It was a huge win, it's definitely a nice feeling," said Coyotes center Sam Gagner, who also received a video tribute for his time in Edmonton. "It is special for sure. It was a weird feeling out there for me. I just felt different. I didn't think it was my best game out there by any means. Guys stepped up and played a great game and kind of carried me along. It's a great feeling to get that win."

Gormley opened the scoring with his first NHL goal at 14:08 of the first period. The Coyotes defenseman intercepted a clearing attempt at the Oilers blue line and fired a shot past Scrivens, who appeared to be screened on the play.

Dubnyk made 15 saves in the first period. His most impressive stop was against Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who gave chase to a loose puck inside the Coyotes blue line when Dubnyk decided to leave his crease, sliding to poke the puck away.

"I thought I was going to get killed there," Dubnyk said. "That was for Dom Hasek's Hall of Fame induction, that was a tribute to him. I never thought he [Nugent-Hopkins] was going to beat me to it, but I thought we were going to get there at the same time. I thought I was going to get clocked. I'm going to have to thank him after for not killing me."

In the second, Dubnyk stopped the 10 shots and received plenty of help from his defense, which blocked 14 shots in the period. Arizona finished with 25 blocked shots in the game.

"It was a close game for the most part," Hall said. "It was just one of those game where we were just a bounce away from being there, but those are the games we have to find a way to win somehow.

"They blocked a lot of shots. It seemed like they were always in the lanes and taking away the best shooting angle they could. We have to find a way around that and maybe be a little more creative with our shot selections."

Boedker gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead with his seventh goal of the season and fourth against the Oilers. The Coyotes left wing picked up a loose puck in the slot and snapped it past Scrivens at 12:51 of the third period.

Hall cut the lead to 2-1 at 14:10 on the power play with his seventh goal of the season. Hall missed the past six games because of an MCL sprain in his right knee.

"We didn't get the start that we wanted," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "It was one of those nights where it's hard to look at anybody in our lineup and fault them, say they had an off game or anything like that. When you get into games like that, the difference is who's going to drive the net, who's going to get to the net and who's going to find the greasy goals."

Late in the third period, Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz had an opportunity to tie the game, getting to the puck in front of an open net. But Arizona right wing Martin Erat was able to dive and knock the puck away.

"It's definitely frustrating, but I thought we played well for most of the game. It just wasn't our night," Schultz said. "[Dubnyk] played really well. We got a lot of shots on him and he stood tall. It's too bad it was against us."

The Oilers host the Canucks on Wednesday in the third of a five-game homestand. Arizona returns home to play the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

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