Game Thread: Hot Oilers visit Habs

What a difference a few months can make. The Edmonton Oilers, the team that finished dead last in the NHL last season, is currently on top early on into 2011-12.

The Oilers are led by a young core of players, that includes October Rookie of the Month Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. But after the scoring of Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and veteran Ryan Smyth, the secondary scoring is near non existent. and the team is 25th in goals per game.

The counter to that situation is the outstanding goaltending from Nikolai Khabibulin. The veteran netminder is undefeated in regulation (6-0-2), with a 0.98 GAA and .963 Sv Pct. Last season the 38-year old had 10 wins in 46 starts, but shrugs off his numbers these days.

Devan Dubnyk has been equally impressive as the 1B/No.2 man between the pipes and is 2-3-0, with a 2.19 GAA and .935 SvPct.

Both Oilers netminders claimed victories in last season's two meetings with the Canadiens, and the goaltending has also benefited the Edmonton penalty kill, which sits 5th in the NHL.

Magnus Paajarvi will miss tonight's game and Ales Hemsky will likely take his place in the lineup

The Canadiens will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss Saturday against the New York Rangers. Scott Gomez appears to be almost ready for game action, and centered a line with Lars Eller and Travis Moen in practice on Monday. He will not play tonight, however

Update: Andrei Kostitsyn left Monday's practice, with alower body injury, skated briefly in the morning skate and is out for tonight. Yannick Weber will play on the fourth line, giving Alexei Emelin a night out of the press box and on the blue line.

Carey Price gets the start in goal, looking for just his second career win against the Oilers.



Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Erik Cole - David Desharnais - Mike Cammalleri

Travis Moen - Lars Eller - Mathieu Darche

Mike Blunden - Petteri Nokelainen - Yannick Weber

Defense Pairings

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz

Jaroslav Pacek - Alexei Emelin


Carey Price - Peter Budaj



Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Jones - Eric Belanger - Sam Gagner

Ben Eager - Anton Lander - Lennart Petrell

Defense Pairings

Ladislav Smid - Tom Gilbert

Corey Potter - Jeff Petry

Theo Peckham - Colten Teubert


Nikolai Khabibulin - Devan Dubnyk

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