Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has a chance to secure the 200th win of his career in Edmonton against an Oilers team that gave him his start in the NHL.
Instead of splitting up the back-to-back like the team typically has this season, coach Bruce Boudreau tabbed his No.1 goaltender to play Saturday after Dubnyk posted a 30-save effort Friday in Vancouver en route to a 5-2 win over the Canucks.
“It is a fine line between keeping him sharp,” Boudreau said. “But in the next two weeks, we get a lot of breaks. But [backup] Alex [Stalock] will get his fair share coming in and starting probably in Arizona next weekend.”
Dubnyk’s performance against the Oilers over the years has been stellar.
Since the team, which originally drafted him 14th overall in 2004, traded him to the Predators – the start of a tumultuous journey for Dubnyk before he reestablished himself in Arizona in 2014-15 to tee up a trade to Minnesota – Dubnyk is 8-1 with a .948 save percentage and 1.31 goals-against average against Edmonton.
“That’s the start of my career, so it’s always a very special time and something that I’m always going to remember,” Dubnyk said. “We bought a house there. We made a lot of friends there. I really enjoyed it. It was obviously difficult standings-wise, but I learned a lot and there’s some great people there that I still talk to. They gave me an opportunity to start my NHL career, and they stuck with me. It wasn’t exactly a polished start to my career, by any means, and they stuck with me and believed in me and that’s important.”
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund
Nino Niederreiter-Joel Eriksson Ek-Tyler Ennis
Marcus Foligno-Matt Cullen-Daniel Winnik
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Gustav Olofsson-Nate Prosser
199: Career wins for goalie Devan Dubnyk.
8: Straight road wins for the Wild in Edmonton, its longest road win streak in team history.
4-6-1: The Wild’s record in the second half of a back-to-back.
7: Points for McDavid in his last five games.
6-4: Edmonton’s record in its last 10 games.
About the Oilers:
It’s been a disappointing season for the Oilers, who many pegged to go on a lengthy playoff run. Instead, the team is third from the bottom in the Western Conference with 62 points. Captain Connor McDavid has still been dominant, however. He sits third in the league in points with 81. Center Leon Draisaitl (21 goals and 60 points) is another offensive leader for the Oilers, while goalie Cam Talbot 24-26-2 with a .905 save percentage and 3.07 goals-against average.