Scenes from Morning Skate: Evander Kane back on the ice, Panthers make changes, and more

Photo credit:Zach Laing
Cam Lewis
26 days ago
The Stanley Cup Final has shifted back to Edmonton.
After keeping the series alive with a massive 8-1 victory at home last weekend, the Oilers rolled into Florida and dragged the Panthers back to Alberta with a 5-3 win. The two teams will square off in Game 6 at Rogers Place on Friday evening.

Edmonton Oilers Line Combinations at Morning Skate

F1: Warren Foegele – Connor McDavid – Zach Hyman 
F2: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Leon Draisaitl – Dylan Holloway
F3: Mattias Janmark – Adam Henrique – Connor Brown 
F4: Ryan McLeod – Derek Ryan – Corey Perry 
F5: Evander Kane – Sam Carrick – Sam Gagner
D1: Mattias Ekholm – Evan Bouchard
D2: Darnell Nurse – Philip Broberg
D3: Brett Kulak – Cody Ceci 
D4: Phil Kemp – Vincent Desharnais 
Unsurprisingly, the Oilers used the same lines and pairings at practice that they had in their Game 5 victory over the Panthers on Tuesday. The only difference of note for Edmonton was that Evander Kane joined the main group skating on the extra forward line with Sam Carrick and Sam Gagner.
Kane played in all of Edmonton’s games in the first three rounds of the playoffs and suited up in Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final in Florida but has been out of the lineup with an injury since. He also practiced with the team ahead of Game 5 in Florida but didn’t wind up playing. Head coach Kris Knoblauch said that Kane is a possibility for Game 6.
“We’ve got some things to think about,” Knoblauch said following the team’s skate on Thursday. “I still haven’t seen a follow-up on how good [Kane] feels, but we have possibilities.”

Panthers shuffle forward lines, make a change to their top power-play unit

The Panthers practiced on Thursday morning in Florida before getting on the plane back to Edmonton. Aaron Ekblad wasn’t on the ice for the Panthers, but head coach Paul Maurice said afterward that it was just a morning off for the defender.
The only change to the Panthers’ defence was on the power play, as Oliver Ekman-Larsson joined the team’s top unit in what had been Brandon Montour’s spot throughout the majority of the playoffs. Florida’s power play has gone just 1-for-16 in the Stanley Cup Final and they’ve allowed a shorthanded goal in back-to-back games.
Florida made a couple of changes to their forward lines at Thursday’s practice. Wingers Carter Verhaeghe and Evan Rodrigues switched spots, as the former moved to the top line with Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart while the latter skated with Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk.
The fourth line also had a different look, as the versatile Nick Cousins drew in for veteran Kyle Okposo on the right side. Okposo played in the first five games of the Stanley Cup Final and Cousins hasn’t suited up since Florida’s Eastern Conference Final series with the New York Rangers.

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