Ilya Bryzgalov’s first start as an Oiler was so good, he’s getting another.
Bryzgalov, who posted a 33-save shutout over the Preds on Thursday, will be back in goal Friday when Edmonton takes on the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
The Russian netminder kicked out every shot faced last night in Nashville, earning both his first win and first shutout since joining the Oilers earlier this month.
“Check-marks across the board for him tonight,” head coach Dallas Eakins said. “[Bryzgalov] did a great job.”
Goaltending was a major issue for Edmonton earlier in the year, but it hasn’t been lately. Devan Dubnyk allowed just three goals in wins over Calgary, Columbus and Florida last week and while Monday’s 5-1 loss to Chicago was a setback, Bryzgalov jumped in on Thursday and posted the club’s second shutout in four games.
That’s not all that’s going right for Edmonton lately. The Oilers have won four of their last five and are how just two points back of Calgary in the race to climb out of the Western Conference cellar.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.