Devan Dubnyk gets the start in goal in what will be his third start in four games this year. To say he’s had a rocky start would be an understatement and he needs a solid effort tonight to keep the critics from riding him out of town. There has been talk about the new goalie equipment changes and how they’ve affected Dubnyk but that is something he has to adapt to. Other goalies around the league are managing just fine and if Dubnyk wants to be with the elite, not only does he have to start playing like it, but he has to start acting like it.
Peter Budaj will start in goal for the Canadiens after Carey Price played last night. This is one of the perks of getting a team on the back end of two straight games but it only means something if the Oilers win.
Ryan Smyth is back in the Oilers lineup after being a healthy scratch last game. Ryan Hamilton is out with a sore knee and Jesse Joensuu continues to feel the effects of a bad back, leaving room for Smyth. His play tonight will help determine how many games he’ll suit up for during the upcoming road trip as both Hamilton and Joensuu are expected to be ready in the near future.
Jesse Joensuu is expected to make the road trip with the team and could be ready to go by Saturday when the Oilers invade Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs.
Aside from the Smyth addition, there are no changes to the Oilers forward lines. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it right? Providing the team plays with the same hunger and passion that they displayed in the third period of the Devils game and not the first forty minutes.
It’s worth noting that Canadiens’ Rene Bourque has 10 career goals and 20 career points in 25 games against the Oilers, largely stemming from his time with the Calgary Flames.
The Habs have been having great success from their young line of Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. The trio has combined for 14 points so far this season and have scored 6 of the team’s 9 goals.
This is a game the Oilers can win. They have to stay out of the penalty box and contain the line just mentioned. If the Oilers can have the same fire and intensity that they finished the Monday game with, then this one could be over before the end of the second.