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Oilers reunite Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci as Warren Foegele returns to lineup

Edmonton Oilers Darnell Nurse
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers have reunited the pairing of Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci, mixing up some of their lines at a Friday practice.
The Oilers swapped what they ran during a skate on Wednesday and have also brought back Warren Foegele into the lineup. Sam Carrick was removed from the lineup, and Foegele landed on the third line, with he and Corey Perry flanking Ryan McLeod up the middle.
Edmonton’s fourth line saw Adam Henrique centering Mattias Janmark and Connor Brown.
With Nurse and Ceci reuniting on the second pairing, the Oilers now have Philip Broberg and Brett Kulak playing on the third pair, with the latter playing his offside.
Here’s a look at Wednesday’s lines, courtesy of Oilersnation’s Jason Gregor, and the club’s lines on Friday, courtesy of Bob Stauffer.
Oilers fans know all too well Nurse and Ceci’s struggles together. The former’s last few games with Kulak have been some of his strongest this playoffs, so it’s interesting to see the coaching staff go this route with the defensive pairings.
The lineup tweaks are certainly interesting, with many wondering if this was the time for Sam Carrick and Vincent Desharnais to stick in the lineup against a physical Florida Panthers team. But as Oilersnation’s Bruce Curlock alluded to in a must-read tactical preview of the series, areas of the Panthers’ game can be exposed.
One of those is through the counter-attack, which players like Foegele and Broberg will be able to excel in, given their speed and ability to get out of trouble defensively. Broberg has shown his puck-moving abilities since playing in the final three games of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Stars.
Concerns about the Nurse-Ceci pairing aside, this Oilers lineup has a good blend on each forward line and defensive pairing. Edmonton’s ability to stave off the Panthers’ aggressive play and get out of trouble will be a key to their success in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Game 1 is set for Saturday night with a 6 p.m. MST puck drop.

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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