It’s the second to last game at home for the Edmonton Oilers tonight before they embark on a season high, 6-game road trip out east. Visiting Rexall Place tonight are the New Jersey Devils who, like the Oilers are looking for their first win of the season.
After starting the year 0-1-1 the Devils enter tonight desperately looking to get into the win column with the next four games coming not only on the road but all in Canada. That includes a date with the Vancouver Canucks on back-to-back nights following their tilt with the Oilers.
That kind of sounds familiar doesn’t it? The part about looking for that elusive first win and a sense of desperation in the air. The Oilers and their fans can relate all to well after serving up two straight losses to start the year.
This visit also marks what is likely the last of Martin Brodeur in Edmonton. A sure hall-of-famer, Brodeur and his illustrious career hasn’t spent a lot of time in Alberta but when he does visit, it’s always an intriguing matchup. Oddly enough, Brodeur did not start the season for the Devils, the first time in twenty-years that he didn’t open a season in goal. That right went to Cory Schneider, who Edmonton was feverishly trying to trade for at the NHL Entry Draft.
The Oiler’s have their own goaltending dilemma following the two sub-par performances from Devan Dubnyk. Jason LaBarbera relieved Dubnyk on Saturday just over half way through the game and will make his first start of his Oilers career tonight against the Devils.
A lifelong backup, many are wondering if LaBarbera can be productive enough to play in 25-30 games this season with the Oilers to help lighten the load for Dubnyk. We are about to begin that journey.
As always, the lineups and notes follow. Lines are courtesy of Bob Stauffer via Twitter.