SUN Hockey Pool

Dubnyk savours milestone

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Devan Dubnyk was still sifting through the congratulatory text messages on Saturday.

Apparently, there were a lot of people happy to see the Oilers goaltender collect his first NHL win.

“I got 76 text messages,” said Dubnyk.

“I didn’t even know I knew that many people. I haven’t even gone through them all, to be honest.

“I have to sit down and go through them. But, it’s obviously a nice feeling to know there are that many people pulling for you.”

It took Dubnyk 11 decisions to finally earn his first victory. Even then, he had to work hard for it, as the Detroit Red Wings scored the tying goal with 0.2 seconds left in regulation to send Friday’s game into overtime at Rexall Place.

The Oilers had to pull it out in a shootout in order to finally get their rookie goaltender the W.

“It was tough going to sleep (Friday) night; I just kept going through the game in my head,” Dubnyk said.

“But it feels really good today. It’s a great feeling of relief. It’s been a while since I’ve won a game, and that one obviously was pretty special.

“It’s a good day today, I’m going to enjoy it.”

Dubnyk had come close to winning in the past. He came within a goalpost of claiming a victory in Montreal last week and earlier this season had his heart broken when the Dallas Stars scored the winning goal with less than a minute left in the game — seconds after the Oilers had tied it.

It would have been cruel to lose Friday, considering how the Red Wings knotted the score. “I didn’t think a lot about that play,” said Dubnyk. “I’m just happy it turned out the way it did.

“It was unfortunate that it happened, but in the end all that mattered is that we got the two points.”

If anything, Dubnyk has a good tale to go with the game puck awarded to him.

The play that tied it was a microcosm of the Oilers’ season.

“The puck went off somebody after it squirted out in front ... that’s what kind of froze me in the first place,” said Dubnyk.

“I was on my post and he went to throw the shot at me, so I went down with one knee and it went off a skate. I was kind of stuck there for a second and then looked over and just threw a glove over in desperation, but I didn’t get it.

“But we ended up with the win, which is important. It’s a good story to tell.

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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