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At the Rink: Kings at Oilers

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- Forwards Derek Roy and Matt Fraser will make their Edmonton Oilers debuts Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings, and interim coach Todd Nelson will take sole responsibility behind the bench.

Roy and Fraser were acquired by Edmonton (7-22-7) on Monday and skated with their new teammates for the first time Tuesday at the morning skate. The Kings (18-12-7) did not skate Tuesday after losing 2-1 at the Calgary Flames on Monday.

General manager Craig MacTavish shared coaching responsibilities with Nelson after taking over from Dallas Eakins, who was fired Dec. 15.

MacTavish stepped away from the bench after five games (0-3-2) and is expected to go to Montreal to take in the remainder of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"I just feel that with transition it's the right time now," MacTavish said. "Coaching is not a place for two captains. Todd has directed the team and changed the lines that last couple of games. I've offered to support him as best I can, but it's time for him, and I'm comfortable now that he's got a familiarization with the personnel and it's time for him to put his mark on what he can do with this hockey club."

Nelson put Fraser on a line with David Perron and Leon Draisaitl. Roy will center the second line between Nail Yakupov and Teddy Purcell.

Fraser was claimed off waivers from the Boston Bruins. Roy was acquired in a trade from the Nashville Predators for center Mark Arcobello. He was placed on waivers Sunday and was on his way to Nashville's American Hockey League affiliate in Milwaukee when informed of the trade.

"I was on a layover in Chicago and was told to call the GM (MacTavish)," Roy said. "I got my stuff off the plane and was excited when I heard the news. I got here late last night and woke up this morning and came to the rink. It's a good feeling."

Roy, 31, had one goal and nine assists in 26 games with the Predators this season.

He spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Buffalo Sabres, but since the 2012-13 season he's played with the Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues and the Predators.

"Coming here and seeing the young talent they have, all the skill and speed out there in practice, it's weird to see that their record is that low," Roy said. "I just want to come in here, bring my work ethic and prepare for games. If I can teach them some things it's great. They're also going to teach me some things. It's a learning process and I just want to get better every day."

Fraser, 24, was claimed by the Oilers after scoring three goals in 24 games for the Bruins.

"I'm excited to be here," Fraser said. "When I heard the news and when I talked to Mr. MacTavish yesterday, I told him I want to be part of the solution and not the problem.

For me, I'm a hard-working guy, I like going to those dirty areas and getting my nose dirty and that's what I'm going to bring every day."

Goaltender Ben Scrivens will start for the Oilers. Martin Jones is expected to start for the Kings in the second game of a back-to-back.

Here are the projected lineups:


Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Jeff Carter

Dustin Brown - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams

Tanner Pearson - Trevor Lewis - Tyler Toffoli

Kyle Clifford - Mike Richards - Dwight King

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez - Matt Greene

Brayden McNabb - Jamie McBain

Martin Jones

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff, Jeff Schultz

Suspended: Slava Voynov

Injured: Robyn Regehr (upper body)


Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov - Derek Roy - Teddy Purcell

David Perron - Leon Draisaitl - Matt Fraser

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Tyler Pitlick

Oscar Klefbom - Mark Fayne

Nikita Nikitin - Justin Schultz

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry

Ben Scrivens

Viktor Fasth

Scratched: Keith Aulie, Luke Gazdic, Steven Pinizzotto

Injured: Benoit Pouliot (foot)

Status report: Nikitin returns to the lineup for the Oilers after missing 10 games with a back injury. To make room for him on the roster Edmonton assigned defenseman Brad Hunt to the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL. ... Pouliot practiced with the Oilers for the first time since breaking his foot blocking a shot Nov. 21. He is not certain when he'll return to the lineup.

Who's hot: Nugent-Hopkins has four goals and two assists in his past eight games. ... Toffoli has two goals in his past two games. ... Lewis has two goals and two assists and is on a four-game point streak.

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