Oilers keeping Game 4 lineup intact, Canucks put theirs in a blender

Edmonton Oilers celebrate goal
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers are keeping their winning lineup from Game 4 against the Canucks intact for Thursday’s Game 5.
Coming off a Game 3 loss in which the Oilers coughed up a 1-0 lead, losing 4-3, head coach Kris Knoblauch had no choice but to mix things up. Calvin Pickard drew into the lineup, replacing Stuart Skinner, while Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl centred their own lines.
It paid dividends, as the team went on to have a dominant Game 4 performance, winning 3-2 and staving off a late push from the Canucks. And now, with Game 5 shifting back to Vancouver tonight, the Oilers will keep their lineup intact.
McDavid will centre Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the latter of whom scored a big goal in Game 4, while Draisaitl will set the tempo for Evander Kane and Dylan Holloway. Ryan McLeod will remain to centre Warren Foegele and Corey Perry on the third line, while Derek Ryan centres Mattias Janmark and Connor Brown.
On the blue line, Knoblauch’s new-look pairings succeeded, too. Mattias Ekholm and Evan Bouchard stuck together playing their dominance game, while Darnell Nurse and Vincent Desharnais looked solid, as did Brett Kulak and Cody Ceci.
The Canucks, however, are mixing up their lines ahead of Game 5 in Vancouver.
As noted by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, Elias Pettersson moves from centring his own line to playing wing alongside Elias Lindholm and Nils Hoglander, while Teddy Blueger bumps up to centre the third line.
Here’s some of what CanucksArmy’s Jeff Paterson wrote about the changes:
The Canucks will have four faces in their lineup that didn’t play in Game 4. Carson Soucy returns from his one game suspension while Nils Höglander and Phil Di Giuseppe get back into the series and Vasily Podkolzin makes his NHL playoff debut.
Ilya Mikheyev, Nils Aman and Linus Karlsson come out up front while Noah Juulsen will be a healthy scratch on defence.
Rick Tocchet admitted that part of the reason for change was to get Elias Pettersson more offensive-minded linemates. Pettersson, who will shift to the wing tonight, opened the scoring on the power play on home ice in Game 2 last Friday night. However, that is his only point of this series so far. He has seven shots on goal through the first four games.
The game is set to start at 8 p.m. MST Thursday night.

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 zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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