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Bryz, Oilers visit surging Predators

(SportsNetwork.com) - Ilya Bryzgalov is scheduled to make his first start as a member of the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, as the goaltender's new club visits the surging Nashville Predators for a clash at Bridgestone Arena.

Bryzgalov saw his first action with Edmonton in a relief role during Monday's 5-1 home loss to Chicago, stopping 12-of-13 shots after taking over in the second period for an ineffective Devan Dubnyk.

The veteran Russian netminder became a free agent when he had the final six years of an eight-year, $51 million deal bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers this past summer. He went 33-16-7 with a 2.48 goals against average and six shutouts in 59 games during his first season with the Flyers, but was just 19-17-3 with a 2.79 GAA in 40 games last season.

Signed to a one-year deal by the Oilers on Nov. 8, Bryzgalov spent time with Edmonton's AHL affiliate for conditioning purposes before joining the NHL club last week. He spent his first three games backing up Dubnyk before getting the opportunity to start tonight's contest.

"I think he's comfortable with his situation here," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins told his team's official website of Bryzgalov. "He knows how the game goes. This isn't a young player coming who's not quite sure how it works. He's a veteran guy. He understands that whoever's hot and whoever's winning is going to be in the net. If it's the other guy, he's good with it. All that Bryz wants is our team to win."

Bryzgalov will try to get the Oilers back on track Thursday after they had a season-high three-game winning streak snapped in Monday's blowout loss against the visiting Blackhawks. Jonathan Toews had a shorthanded goal and Patrick Kane scored on a power play during a three-minute span in the first period, sparking Chicago to the easy win at Rexall Place.

Edmonton had won a season-high three games following a 1-9-1 stretch, but was down 4-0 just 5:49 into the second period on Monday.

Justin Schultz scored the Oilers' goal and Dubnyk gave up four goals on 14 shots before he was pulled.

Oilers winger Nail Yakupov suffered a lower-body injury in Monday's loss, but the Russian youngster is expected to play tonight. Yakupov, the first overall pick of the 2012 draft, has four goals and five assists in 23 games this season.

Thursday's tilt is the first stop on a three-game road trip for the Oilers, who are 4-8-2 as the visiting team this season.

Nashville enters Thursday's tilt on an upswing, having won two straight and five of its last six games. The Predators notched a 4-0 win in their most recent outing Wednesday night in Columbus.

Marek Mazanec made 19 saves to notch his second career shutout as Nashville Predators blanked the Blue Jackets. Matt Cullen and Nick Spaling both had a goal and an assist for the Nashville, while Mike Fisher and David Legwand also lit the lamp.

Mazanec, meanwhile, improved to 5-3-0 this season. The rookie continues to do a solid job filling in for injured No. 1 goaltender Pekka Rinne, who is sidelined following hip surgery.

"The first 30 minutes, it was pretty quiet back there (for Mazanec)," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "It was a pretty easy night for him.

"It was sort of a team win. We defended hard. We had some critical blocked shots when we needed, won battles, and then Maz made some saves when we needed."

It's unclear if Mazanec will garner a start on consecutive days or if backup Carter Hutton will get the call on Thursday. Hutton last played on Nov. 15 in a relief role against Pittsburgh and hasn't started a game since surrendering five goals in a loss against New Jersey on Nov. 10.

Forwards Filip Forsberg and Patric Hornqvist are questionable for the Predators tonight with upper-body injuries. Forsberg has sat out the past six games with his injury, while Hornqvist has missed the last two.

Nashville won two of its three meetings against the Oilers last season, but Edmonton has taken four of seven overall in the series. The clubs have split the last six encounters in Music City, but Edmonton has lost in its past two trips to Nashville.

11/28 10:52:06 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/16 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay @theRink | TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus 4/16 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FS-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
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Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
9th
ARI 1
NYM 5
 
7:05pm Tonight
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ATL
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NYY
CHC
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DET
CLE
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MIA
WAS
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KAN
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TOR 0
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COL
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SFG
LOS
7:00pm Tonight
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CHI
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ORL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
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CLE
BRK
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MEM
DAL
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OKC
DET
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NOP
HOU
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SAN
LAL
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MIA
PHI
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NYK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
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BOS
WAS
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
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POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
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MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
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DAL
7:05pm Tonight
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NOR