Devils @ Oilers - Game 3 Lineups & Preview

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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.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins makes his return to the Oilers lineup and earlier today we looked at why he can’t be counted on as the Oilers savior.

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. 

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Tags: Ales Hemsky Boyd Gordon Edmonton Oilers Jordan Eberle Martin Brodeur Nail Yakupov New Jersey Devils Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Ryan Smyth Sam Gagner Taylor Hall

  • Cody Anderson

    Hard to believe that our LW depth is that poor even after moving Hall back to his natural position. I hate having Yakupov on that weak of a line.
    Unfortunate injury to Joensuu as this lineup would look much better with him in it rather than Hamilton.
    I expect this will not be the last game Smyth spends in the press box. I would like to see him given a shot on a line with Gordon and Hemsky to see if he can still contribute on the shut down side. If not I would be surprised if he makes it the full year.

    • Derek Stykalo

      I’m with ya Cody on Smyth. Don’t think we’ve seen the last of him but any future opportunities will be on either the third line or fourth. Right now though, the fourth line looks solid and it’s hard to put Smyth in there when they’re playing decent hockey. Getting Joensuu back is a must for this club. He brings a presence that we don’t have otherwise.

      • Cody Anderson

        If Joensuu is healthy I have trouble seeing a fit for Smyth. Small sampling obviously, but Joensuu has looked exactly like what the Oil have needed.
        To me with everyone healthy you are deciding between Smyth and Gazdig or Brown, and Smyth just isn’t an ideal 4th liner.
        I suppose you could try Smyth as a shut down player on the 3rd line and move Joensuu to the 4th, as he can skate and bang, but that feels like we are punishing a better younger player with a lot more upside to honor an over the hill player.