Thrown ‘into the fire’ vs. ‘Hawks, Bryzgalov gets first Oilers start on Thursday

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Ilya Bryzgalov’s Oilers debut was inauspicious, but he’ll quickly have the chance to put it behind him.

Bryzgalov, who came on in relief Monday night in an eventual 5-1 loss to Chicago, will get his first start on Thursday when the Oilers take on the Preds in Nashville.

“It wasn’t the best way for us to throw [Bryzgalov] into the fire,” Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said of last night’s game, in which Devan Dubnyk was yanked after allowing four goals on 14 shots.

Despite Eakins’ comments, throwing the Russian netminder into the fire ended up a decent move. Bryzgalov wasn’t perfect, but he did stop 12 of 13 shots and said he felt “pretty good” in his first NHL action since April.

Eakins agreed.

“I thought [Bryz] went in and played very well,” the Oilers coach explained.

The Oilers will hope Bryzgalov can continue his string of success against the Predators. He’s 9-6-3 vs. Nashville in his career, boasting a .913 save percentage and 2.54 GAA, with one shutout.