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Edmonton Oilers mix up lines ahead of game five against the LA Kings

The Edmonton Oilers have mixed up their lines ahead of their game five matchups with the LA Kings.

The changes are few, but they’re ones I really like.

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Most notably, Ryan McLeod is getting bumped up the lineup from the fourth line to the second line alongside Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman. McLeod is one of the Oilers’ best transporters of the puck through the neutral zone, so he will be able to utilize his speed to gain the line.

Kailer Yamamoto, meanwhile, is getting bumped up to the Oilers top line alongside Connor McDavid and Evander Kane. This is no big surprise. Yamamoto has looked his best playing alongside Kane and McDavid, and this trio generated some good scoring chances in game four. Look for them to continue to push the pace.

On the third line, Jesse Puljujarvi will play alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Josh Archibald. While I’m a fan of getting Puljujarvi, arguably the Oilers’ best two-way player, helping out Nugent-Hopkins on the third line, my concern still remains over Archibald there.

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Archibald has been pulling down Nugent-Hopkins’ game, so it’ll be interesting to see how Puljujarvi helps. Lastly, the Oilers’ fourth line will feature Warren Foegele, Derek Ryan and Zack Kassian, as it appears the centre is set to return to the lineup.

I would like to see Foegele get a look on that Oilers third line, but we’ll see what happens during the game as this could be an easy adjustment for Jay Woodcroft to make.

The defensive pairings of Nurse – Ceci, Keith – Bouchard and Kulak – Barrie will remain the same, as Mike Smith gets the start.


Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]