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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, October 7th (All times Eastern)

New Jersey Devils (0-1-1) at Edmonton Oilers (0-2-0), 9:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Edmonton Oilers will have some welcomed help on Monday night as they try to avoid their first 0-3 start in 18 years.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is expected to make his season debut for the Oilers when they take on a New Jersey Devils club also looking for its first win of the campaign.

Nugent-Hopkins has been out since undergoing left shoulder surgery in late April. The top overall pick of the 2011 draft had 52 points in 62 games as a rookie in 2011-12, but netted just four goals with 24 points in 40 games a season ago.

The 20-year-old is making an early-than-expected return and on Sunday skated on a line with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. Hall shifted from center back to left wing after playing the first two games in the middle due to the absence of Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner (broken jaw).

"I'm excited to be back playing with Nuge. I'm excited for him to be back. It's a huge addition to our team. I'm happy being on wing. I've played there for a long time and had a lot of success there so I'm comfortable with the position and I've just got to revert back to my old habits now," said Hall.

The Oilers would like to get back into the habit of winning. They opened their season with a 5-4 home loss to Winnipeg last Tuesday, then allowed Vancouver to score five straight goals en route to a 6-2 setback to the Canucks on Saturday.

Jeff Petry and Boyd Gordon had tallies in the loss, while Devan Dubnyk allowed five goals on 31 shots faced.

"If you are not going to battle and win battles and compete like every shift is your last, you are not going to win in this league," Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said.

Edmonton is 0-2 for the first time since 1989-90 and has not begun a season with three straight losses since an 0-4 start to the 1995-96 campaign.

New Jersey has also lost its first two contests of the season, but earned a point last time out in a 4-3 shootout setback to the New York Islanders on Friday. Martin Brodeur made 23 saves and another five in the shootout before getting beat in the sixth round by New York's Matt Moulson.

A pair of first-year Devil skaters had the regulation goals, with Damien Brunner scoring twice and Michael Ryder adding a tally.

New Jersey, which was bested 3-0 in Pittsburgh the previous night, is trying to avoid matching its 0-2-1 start to the 2010-11 season and begins a five-game road trip tonight through Canada. The Devils are also slated to makes stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa.

"It's going to take time," Brodeur said of blending in all the new faces. "I think we need to give ourselves a little time here. I think it's a great thing we're going on the road here. We can get to know each other and learn how to play with each other."

The Devils have won two straight and five of their previous seven versus the Oilers, including a 2-1 overtime victory in Edmonton in the most recent matchup on Jan. 11, 2012.

New Jersey has six victories and a tie in its last eight games in Edmonton.

10/07 10:27:47 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
GWI 2
 
Final
NEP 30
CAR 7
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI
 
Final
CHC 4
BAL 1
Final
NYY 4
CWS 3
Final
CLE 1
HOU 5
Final
WAS 3
SFG 10
Final
PHI 5
STL 4
Final
TOR 0
TAM 8
Final
CIN 1
ATL 3
Final
BOS 3
SEA 5
Final
TEX 3
KAN 6
Final
MIN 20
DET 6
Final
MIL 3
PIT 8
Final
COL 5
MIA 13
Final
ARI 5
SDP 1
Final
OAK 5
ANA 3
Final
LOS 6
NYM 2
1:05pm Today
NYY
CWS
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
TAM
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
DET
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
BAL
 
4:05pm Today
WAS
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
STL
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIL
PIT
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
MIA
 
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
SDP
 
8:25pm Tonight
TEX
KAN
 
9:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
9:10pm Tonight
LOS
NYM
 
Final
NEP 30
CAR 7
 
Final
DET 13
JAC 12
 
Final
NYJ 24
NYG 35
 
Final
GBP 31
OAK 21
 
Final
SEA 34
CHI 6
 
4:30pm Today
BUF
TAM
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
TEN
7:30pm Tonight
BAL
WAS
8:00pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
8:00pm Tonight
IND
NOS
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
STL
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
HOU
Final
DUR 5
GWI 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI