NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Ilya Bryzgalov is feeling comfortable and very welcome in the Edmonton Oilers’ locker room, and the 33-year-old goaltender just proved he still knows how to shut opponents down.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall scored 51 seconds apart in the second period, and Bryzgalov got a shutout in his first start for Edmonton as the Oilers beat the Nashville Predators 3-0 Thursday night.
“Always like it when they don’t score,” Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. “And he picked up right where he left off last game. I thought he was solid. He looked big in the net, everything. Check marks right across the page for him.”
Bryzgalov, signed by the Oilers on Nov. 8, made 33 saves in his first NHL start since April 25 when he was in net for Philadelphia. Jordan Eberle added an empty-netter in the final minute off an assist from Hall, and the Oilers have won four of five.
“So far so good,” Bryzgalov said.
Predators captain Shea Weber was hit by a puck near his right eye at 15:24 of the second, dropped to the ice and immediately skated to the locker room. He did not return with what team officials called an upper-body injury and is day-to-day.
Nashville, which had won two straight, lost for the second time in seven games.
Predators coach Barry Trotz noted they have used four goaltenders themselves this season.
“The guys are going to bear down and play hard for the new guy that’s in net,” Trotz said. “The new guy for them is Bryzgalov, and we talked before the game that we needed to get in the hard areas and throw some pucks. He hasn’t played for a while. He may be a little rusty. The game might not be tight. . . . But obviously we didn’t play hard enough in those hard areas.”
The Predators hosted one of the NHL’s two games and were the only American team in action Thursday, wanting to start a holiday tradition in Nashville pairing hockey with turkey. It was just their 11th home game this season, fewer than all but Dallas and the Rangers.
Canucks 5, Senators 2
In Ottawa, milestones don’t mean much to Daniel Sedin in November.
Sedin scored his 300th career goal and added an assist to help the Canucks defeat the Senators.
David Booth, Jason Garrison, Dale Weise and Mike Santorelli also scored for the Canucks, who won for only the second time in nine games. That was of more interest to Sedin than his own stats.
“When you’re in the middle of the season you don’t think too much about it, but I’m sure after the season or looking back it will be different,” Sedin said. “It was nice to help the team (win), that’s for sure.”
Roberto Luongo made 37 saves for the Canucks, who opened a four-game swing.
“This is a big road trip for us and to start with a win is going to give us a lot of confidence moving forward,” Sedin said. “As a team we played pretty good. The (penalty kill) did a good job and the power play got one, too, so overall it was a good game.”
Clarke MacArthur and Mika Zibanejad scored for Ottawa. Craig Anderson allowed four goals on 15 shots before being replaced by Robin Lehner, who gave up one goal on 13 shots.