Despite an unbelievable effort, Devan Dubnyk wasn’t going to be able to do it all himself.
The Edmonton Oilers goaltender needed just a little help and got it from an unlikely source Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Magnus Paajarvi scored the winner on the penalty kill to lend a hand and bail out Ryan Smyth in a 3-1 victory.
“It was nice to get a goal, especially on the penalty kill,” said Paajarvi. “We didn’t get a lot of offence, they shut us down pretty well. It was all about character in this game for sure.
“Dubnyk was a wall tonight. He was awesome. He made some saves that he shouldn’t have today and that was huge. That helps you win games.”
Dubnyk finished with 39 saves to give the Oilers their first win in six games since Jan. 30 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner, into an empty net, added the others for the Oilers, while RJ Umberger responded for the Blue Jackets.
“The thought was to give Devan a rest and to find out if Nik Khabibulin was ready to play (Saturday) in Detroit and getting Devan four days of rest where he didn’t have to play regenerated him completely,” said Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger. “His game tonight was huge. You need a goalie to steal one for you once in a while. We were flat as a team and he was just world class. He was outstanding all the way through, stuck with it, even after the 1-1 goal and was our leader today in every category.”
As well has he’s played this season, Dubnyk had yet to outright steal a game for the Oilers until Sunday.
It’s a wonder the Columbus police officer stationed outside of the Oilers locker room wasn’t there to take him away.
“It’s nice. There were a couple of games at home that we lost in overtime that would have been nice to have the two points,” said Dubnyk. “It’s nice to end up on the right side of that.
Devan Dubnyk backstops Oilers to win over Blue Jackets in Columbus
Edmonton Sun | Feb 11