The lines are the same as were used in Sunday night's game in Chicago:
Jesse Joensuu is skating with the team for the first time since early last week. We will speak with him after practice to find out his status. We will also find out the status of Hall and Gagner, who are not on the ice.
Lines at practice today: 64-26-14. 57-27-83. 20-94-28. 93-6. Not skating: Hall and Gagner.— Tom Gazzola (@TomGazzola) January 13, 2014
Chicago has the last line change tonight, which means that it’s likely that star centre Jonathan Toews will be matched up against Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. If that’s the case, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins has no problem with that.
“If that’s the match-up that (Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville) is going to pursue then I think Nuge takes it on as a great challenge. He should feel really good about his last game and have lots of confidence that he played so well against the best player in the game. Hopefully that bodes well for him if that is the match-up that they’re looking for.”
Going head-to-head against Sidney Crosby, Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and an assist in 21:49 of ice time.
David Perron was asked before tonight’s game about the fact that the Oilers seem to match up better against the more skilled teams like Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Chicago. Perron said that while that may be the case, the team still needs to try and compete with the heavier teams like St. Louis.
“One thing that’s for sure is we’re going to have to get through the better teams if we want to make it in the playoffs. We won’t get in just beating the teams that are a little less physical. I think this team’s got a good mix of both and it’s going to be a good challenge for us to really use our speed and play through that,” Perron began.
“I was on the other side in St. Louis. You can’t really worry too much. These guys over there in St. Louis, they get hurt too and they make mistakes. I feel sometimes when you talk about teams before games you say ‘oh, they’re big’ and you think they aren’t going to (make any mistakes) but it’s false. I’ve been in that room and there’s a lot that we talked about in between periods that we could do better and the same thing here.”
Following practice on Thursday, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins spoke to the media. View an archive of the live press conference which was streamed on edmontonoilers.com by clicking on the video below.
The Oilers are on the ice for another early-morning practice at Rexall Place. Lines, according to jersey colour, are:Hall-RNH-Gagner
There are seven defencemen out there as Corey Potter has returned to the ice with the team:
Jesse Joensuu and Philip Larsen are not skating.
The Oilers announced that they have assigned defenceman Brad Hunt to the Oklahoma City Barons.
From the team's official press release:
OILERS ASSIGN HUNT
General Manager Craig MacTavish announced today the Edmonton Oilers have assigned defenceman Brad Hunt to the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons.
Hunt appeared in three games for the Oilers after being recalled from Oklahoma City.
The Maple Ridge, British Columbia native has recorded 15 points (3G, 12A) and 14 penalty minutes in 27 games with the Barons this season.
Slepyshev, Russia's captain, had four shots on goal and a minus-one rating. Yakimov was an alternate captain and had an even rating with one shot.
The Oilers announced that they have assigned centre Anton Lander to the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons.
Both Oilers prospects at the World Junior Hockey Championship are currently playing for Russia -- Anton Slepyshev and Bogdan Yakimov. On Saturday morning, the Russians lost to Sweden 2-1 and will now play the loser of Canada vs. Finland for the Bronze Medal.
Neither player had any points in the game. In terms of plus/minus they both had an even rating. Slepyshev had three shots on goal and Yakimov had two.
Slepyshev is tied for the team lead in points with seven. He has two goals and five assists and is +7 with 16 shots on goal.
Yakimov has a goal and an assist, is +2 with nine shots on goal.