| OILERS vs CANUCKS: |
AT THE MORNING SKATE
The Oilers held an optional practice Tuesday morning, with 14 skaters taking to the ice. Notable additions were defenceman Dean Arsene, who was called up Monday afternoon as a replacement for Theo Peckham, and forward Ales Hemsky, who continues to rehab from his shoulder surgery.
But perhaps the most newsworthy item from the skate concerned goaltending. While Jeff Deslauriers manned one of the nets, Devan Dubnyk -- who won the Oilers past two games and was expected to start tonight vs. Vancouver -- was absent from practice.
Head Coach Pat Quinn later confirmed that Dubnyk is sick with flu-like symptoms and, after a blood test confirmed the bug is contagious, was told to stay home.
"We're currently trying to make some arrangements to get someone in, otherwise we're going to dress him."
Edmonton's go-to goalies from earlier this season are unable to make game time. Bryan Pitton is on the east coast with the Falcons in Springfield, Mass., while Oil King Torrie Jung has left town due to the end of the WHL regular season. The University of Alberta 'tenders are at CIS Nationals in Thunder Bay, ON.
Quinn admitted that he doesn't know who could potentially fill the back-up position.
"The search is out," he said. "We don't have an answer yet and that's why Dubs might still have to come to the arena and then we'll figure out."
THEO OUT, DEAN IN
Dubnyk is the latest Oiler to fall victim to the illnesses and injuries that have plagued the team this season.
Last game vs. San Jose, defenceman Theo Peckham separated his shoulder on a hit by Douglas Murray, forcing the club to call up Dean Arsene.
"I knew there was a guy at my back and I just tried to brace myself for the hit. I didn't know exactly who it was, if I had known it was Murray, I probably would have braced myself a little bit more," Peckham recalled. "But I understand what he's trying to do -- he's trying to finish his check. I would have done the same thing and it's part of the game.
"I've been hurt a lot this year so it's just to work as hard as I can to get this back to 100% and try to go from there."
This is Arsene's second call up of the season, and the 29-year-old is eager to make the move permanent.
"It's one of those things, when you go down you're not sure if you're ever going to be able to get a chance to come back up, so I'm pretty fortunate and pretty happy to be here," he said.
"Right now, I'm obviously playing for a contract and trying to show that I can play here and be an everyday player. For me, I take it one day at a time like I always have whenever I come up here and hopefully that will last the rest of the year, but it's one of those things: one game, and I try to make the most of it."
BEFORE PUCK DROP
An hour before puck drop, the Oilers confirmed that Dubnyk would not be healthy enough to play and signed University of Calgary goaltender Nathan Deobald to an amateur tryout. Deobald, 26, took to the ice for warm-up and manned the bench during the game.
OILERS 3 - CANUCKS 2
For the third straight game, the Oilers jumped out to an early two-goal lead vs. a statistically superior opponent, and for the third straight game, they rode strong goaltending to defy the standings and hold on for two points.
Tom Gilbert and Robert Nilsson capitalized on a shaky start for Vancouver's Robert Luongo with first-period goals, while Andrew Cogliano added another marker in the second. Jeff Deslauriers finished with 31 saves -- including a handful of unbelievable stops -- to seal a 3-2 win, the Oilers third in a row.
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com, with files from Bob Stauffer