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Oilers’ Sam Carrick draws in for Derek Ryan in pivotal Game 5

Edmonton Oilers Sam Carrick
Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Nestler
16 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers made some big lineup changes ahead of Game 4 against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, and it paid off in a 5-2 win at home to even the series 2-2 in the Western Conference Final. 
Now, the Oilers are continuing on that path, this time re-inserting forward Sam Carrick, who was a healthy scratch in Game 4. Carrick is expected to replace Derek Ryan and skate on the fourth line with Mattias Janmark and Connor Brown in Game 5 on Friday. 
Carrick has played eight games for the Oilers in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first of his nine-year career. He has one assist and a minus-1 rating over that span. His lone point came in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. In Game 4 against Dallas, Carrick had only 8:40 of ice time, his second-lowest total of the playoffs. 
During the regular season, the 32-year-old recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in 16 games with the Oilers. He tallied 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in 61 games with the Anaheim Ducks before being traded to the Oilers at the NHL trade deadline in March. Carrick finished 71st overall in the regular season with 167 total hits. He has racked up 28 hits in his eight playoff games. 
Ryan has struggled in the postseason for Edmonton. The 37-year-old has just one assist in 13 games, but more importantly, sits at a minus-5 rating. In each of his past five games, he has finished with no points and a minus-1 rating, as his ice time has drastically decreased from 10-12 minutes to just over seven minutes per game. Despite that, he’s remained a big part of the Oilers penalty kill, which has been a major storyline for them this post-season.
Edmonton has a chance to push Dallas to the brink of elimination in Game 5 tonight. The Stars have not been in that position since Game 7 of the first round of these playoffs, knocking off the Colorado Avalanche in six games of the second round. The Oilers fought off elimination in back-to-back games against the Vancouver Canucks in round two. 

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