Coyotes-Oilers Preview

The Edmonton Oilers won’t have Ilya Bryzgalov available to start

against one of his former teams.

That’s hardly a concern for the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Oilers will likely start Devan Dubnyk on Tuesday night at

home, where he has never beaten the Coyotes in four tries.

Bryzgalov is out after he sustained an upper-body injury in

Sunday’s 3-2 shootout win at Dallas and didn’t return, with Dubnyk

replacing him. The Oilers recalled Jason LaBarbera from Oklahoma

City on Monday but did not announce how much time Bryzgalov will


Dubnyk, who is 0-2-2 with a 2.68 goals-against average in his

home career versus Phoenix (15-7-4), said he is still approaching

it as if he is the No. 1 goaltender.

“Obviously it’s a long year and there’s going to be stretches,

there’s going to be opportunity to take the rein,” Dubnyk said.

“That’ll be up to us to do that.”

The Coyotes faced LaBarbera, another former Phoenix goalie, in a

5-4 home win over Edmonton (9-17-2) on Oct. 26 in the only meeting

between these teams this season. They have lost three of four and

aren’t concerned about Bryzgalov, the all-time winningest goalie in

Phoenix history.

“We got lots to deal with thinking about our team, let alone

thinking about players that used to play here,” coach Dave Tippett


Phoenix is seeking a fast start after being outscored 28-16 in

the first period this season. It fell behind 3-0 in the opening 20

minutes in Saturday’s 5-2 home loss to Chicago.

”I don’t know what it is. We obviously aren’t ready for the

first period,” center Martin Hanzal said. ”We have to start

making sure we are ready because this is unacceptable.”

The Coyotes are starting a three-game trip through western

Canada. Tippett has said that backup goalie Thomas Greiss will

likely start Tuesday or Wednesday in Calgary.

Mike Smith is 6-0-1 with a 1.96 GAA in seven starts against the

Oilers with the Coyotes. Smith, however, is 0-3-1 with a 4.04 GAA

in his last four starts.

“He’s like the rest of our group here,” Tippett said. “We’re

kind of pressing a little bit.”

The Oilers, who have won four of six, spent Monday’s practice

working on a power play that has produced one goal in 25


“The power play for me, the biggest thing is about competing or

winning battles,” said winger Jordan Eberle, who has a team-high 23

points. “There’s a lot of times you’re not going to get that

perfect set-up or you’re not going to win that perfect draw to get

that set-up and you’ve got to chip it in or dump it in and you have

to win battles to get the puck back.”

The Coyotes are on a 7-0-2 run in this series since their last

regulation loss to the Oilers, 4-3 on Jan. 25, 2011. The last 10

meetings have been decided by one or two goals.

“Edmonton obviously is a good skill team, fast,” said Phoenix

winger Radim Vrbata, tied with Hanzal for the team lead with 22

points. “So we will have to play solid defense, no turnovers

because they could take advantage of it.”