"I've gotten a chance to play with Yak this season so we're developing some chemistry, and I've played with Jordan most of my two years with the Oilers so there's a lot of familiarity there," said Nugent-Hopkins.
"We want Yak to keep building on his game, and the one thing we've found very consistent is whoever plays with (Eberle), plays well," said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins.
The key to success of the new forward line will be communication.
"As the team has success, each individual has success," said Nugent-Hopkins. "We try to support each other and talk as much as we can. When you have a new line, it's important to do those things."
The Oilers made some changes to their forward lineups at practice today in preparation for tomorrow's game in Ottawa and they are as follows:
The Edmonton Oilers have recalled defenceman Denis Grebeshkov from his conditioning stint with the Oklahoma City Barons in the American Hockey League.
Grebeshkov played in three games with OKC, posting a -1 and no points.
The Oilers came into tonight's game against the New York Islanders looking for a bounce back performance from their goaltender Devan Dubnyk after sitting out for two straight games.
They got it tonight as Dubnyk faced 40 shots from the Islanders making 37 saves in a 3-2 loss.
"One of the positives tonight was probably Duby's performance," said forward David Perron. "We can't allow that many shots in a game, especially with all the talent they have on the other side. It's enough of saying we got close. We need results right now. Eight games into the season and we have five losses. We've got to find a way, and it's got to come from within the room."
The Oilers bench boss was also happy with his back-stop's performance.
"I thought Devan was excellent," said Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "Forty shots is a lot to come in on, but he was real solid, made some saves and kept us in it. It was a real good sign. It was one of the positives of the night."
Taylor Hall's Goals:
Sheldon Souray and Ales Hemsky:
"There's no friends on the ice."
They met through a mutual friend whom Mark Arcobello played with at Yale University.
The Oilers centre and New York Islanders defenceman Matt Donovan have since become good friends.
"I became really good friends and roomed with Sean Backman, who was one of his really good friends at Yale," said Donovan. "I kind of met him through him and then I lived in Arcobello's house last year in Milford (Connecticut). I've just grown to know him and talked to him a lot so we have a pretty good relationship. He's a good kid, so I've grown to be pretty good friends with him."
When Donovan moved back east to play for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, American Hockey League affiliate of the Islanders, he lived in the house that the Oilers forward had bought in his hometown a few years earlier.
The friends also had the chance to visit during the AHL All-Star Classic last season in which both attended as all-star representatives for their respective teams.
The two have tracked each other's career progress this season as both attempt to solidify spots on NHL rosters.
"I saw the other night that he had three assists and I text him to say congrats. He's having a good year so far and he's shown that he can play at the NHL level."
"I think we can relate in that way," said Arcobello. "We both are trying to make a name for ourselves and earn a permanent spot. He's been doing pretty well, he had a pretty good start and has his first goal already. I follow him and check his stats whenever they play and he seems to be doing well and I'm looking forward to playing against him."
Donovan says that in the week leading up tonight's game it's been a mixture of trash talking and good luck wishing between the two.
"It's a little bit of both," said the Islander. "We're both kind of in the same boat of just trying to make it in the NHL full-time and just trying to stay here and be in the lineup every night. It's a little bit of both. We have a good relationship so we talk a lot but just looking forward to playing against him tonight."
Tonight the two face-off against each other for the first time in their young NHL careers.
"I told him I'm going to run him through the glass," Donovan said jokingly with a laugh. "I'll see if I can get a hit or two on him."
When Arcobello heard the comment he couldn't help but laugh and issue his own challenge.
"He said that? He can go ahead and try."
After being outshot 15-3 in the first period changes had to be made and Head Coach Dallas Eakins did just that.
"We just made a couple of adjustments," said goaltender Jason LaBarbera. "We were having a hard time at getting the puck out of our end and they were doing a good job of pinching on the walls. We made a couple of adjustments with our wingers and it seemed to work. We were able to get out of our end a lot easier and we played with the puck a lot more that period. Anytime you can play with the puck, especially with a team like that, you're going to get more chances than them."
The Oilers played much better in the second period, scoring twice and outshooting Pittsburgh 15-9.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins made it clear that he wants his team to mirror the play-style of Pittsburgh, who downed the Oilers 3-2 tonight, and he is working diligently to install that mindset in the dressing room.
"The way they play the game, that vertical game is what we need to aspire to be," said Eakins. "It's going to take time to get there but in the future, when our team gets good, that's how we want to play."
Eakins gave credit to his team for the way they hung in the game after the Penguins came out firing. Pittsburgh outshot Edmonton 15-3 in the first period.
Jason LaBarbera also led the team out onto the ice, meaning he will start his second consecutive game.
Lines in warm-up:
Hall - Arcobello - Eberle
Perron - RNH - Yakupov
Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky
Jones - Acton - Brown
Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins confirmed in his morning media presser that Nail Yakupov will play tonight against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.
Yakupov has not played in the Oilers last two games, a loss to Toronto and a loss to Washington, both on the road.
The former first overall pick has no points in four games played this season.