SUN Hockey Pool

There's no W in Dubnyk

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

If good things really do come to those who wait, then Devan Dubnyk's first win in the NHL is going to be a thing of beauty.

A perfect 10, which is kind of a coincidence because he's been waiting nine long games now for that story he can tell his kids one day about his first W.

All he has to show for it so far are more Ls than the chorus of Deck the Halls.

OK, not quite. Dubnyk is 0-7-2 and there are eight Ls in Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.

But you get the point, and so did the Oilers, who had to settle for the consolation prize after the Montreal Canadiens nipped them 5-4 in a shootout Thursday.

"It's getting closer and closer, I guess," said the 23-year-old goaltender, who came one goal post away from ending his own private misery when Gilbert Brule's potential winner in the shootout hit iron.

"When Brue's shot hit the crossbar my heart just about came through my neck. So close again. I don't even have words. I'm just going to have to go back to work Friday."

Tough break for a kid who could use one, but that's the way the season's been going all year for most Oilers.

"I'd be lying if I sat here and told you it wasn't tough not to think about it," he said of his winless record.

"It feels like forever. I try to push that out. If I want to think about that I think about it at home, away from the rink, and when I come here it's preparing the same way. Concentrate on the small things.

"Luckily for me I've been able to go down and win some games in Springfield. It doesn't feel like I haven't won since November."

QUICK ONES

Dubnyk, who stopped 22 of 26 shots in regulation and overtime, gave up a couple of quick ones early and then settled in pretty well.

"One of the strengths I try to bring is not get worked up if a couple get in, or things are bouncing funny at the start of the game," he said. "I just try to be composed and give the guys on the bench a sense of calm regardless of what's going on."

It wasn't exactly a goaltending clinic at either end of the ice to start the game.

The Habs made it 1-0 on their second shot of the game (Tomas Plekanec at 1:20), the Oilers tied it one on their first (Robert Nilsson at 2:22), went up 2-1 on their second (Sam Gagner at 3:43) and Montreal tied it up again on their fourth (Brian Gionta at 9:45).

It settled down a bit in the second, with Travis Moen giving Montreal a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Andrew Cogliano tied it in the first minute of the third, and after Sergei Kostitsyn made it 4-3 at 8:05 and Shawn Horcoff tied it again at 9:19.

"We still have problems with our down low coverage and fought back all night," said head coach Pat Quinn, who wasn't displeased with the entire game, just parts of it.

"I certainly would like a better result, but we haven't had those as often as we'd like."

Coming back three times on the road is a good sign from a 30th place team that has a lot of reasons to roll over.

"When we're firing on all cylinders it's fun for us and fun for the fans to watch," said Dustin Penner.

"If we're going to come out and play like this every night we can look at ourselves in the mirror at the end of the season."


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