Skip to main content

At the Rink: Oilers at Predators

by Robby Stanley

NASHVILLE -- Edmonton Oilers rookie forward Connor McDavid will have new linemates when the Oilers play the Nashville Predators on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena (7 p.m. ET; CITY).

McDavid skated with Benoit Pouliot and Lauri Korpikoski at the morning skate after being on a line with Taylor Hall and Anton Slepyshev on Thursday in a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

"We're still trying to discover what will work and what won't work," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "We played a solid game in St. Louis the other night [and] didn't get a lot of offense. Now we have to give St. Louis credit for that. But in the same breath we want to change things, get a look with different individuals playing with each other and see what we can get out of that."

McDavid finished his NHL debut Thursday with a minus-1 rating and two shots on goal in 18:07 of ice time. He said he is thankful to have the hype and build-up of his first game out of the way and just be able to focus on playing hockey.

"You always want to enjoy and savor it," McDavid said. "But at the same time it's nice to get it out of the way and just try to settle in with the group."

McDavid said there was a noticeable difference from the preseason games to the first regular-season game against St. Louis.

"It was just a higher pace and a higher intensity," he said. "I think that's the big thing."

Nashville made some line adjustments Friday at practice. Coach Peter Laviolette moved forward Calle Jarnkrok to the first line with Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro, and placed James Neal on the third line with Viktor Arvidsson and Cody Hodgson.

"We're just looking at things and moving it around," Laviolette said. "Five-on-five, we've got to be better. We're not producing as much as we'd like."

Here are the projected lineups:


Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Teddy Purcell

Benoit Pouliot - Connor McDavid - Lauri Korpikoski

Nail Yakupov - Anton Lander - Anton Slepyshev

Matt Hendricks - Mark Letestu - Rob Klinkhammer

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Andrej Sekera - Mark Fayne

Andrew Ference - Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Anders Nilsson

Injured: Jordan Eberle (shoulder)

Scratched: Luke Gazdic, Griffin Reinhart, Brandon Davidson


Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Calle Jarnkrok

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Craig Smith

Viktor Arvidsson - Cody Hodgson - James Neal

Eric Nystrom - Paul Gaustad - Gabriel Bourque

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Barret Jackman - Seth Jones

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Injured: None

Scratched: Victor Bartley, Anthony Bitetto, Austin Watson

Status report: Talbot was the first goaltender off the ice for the Oilers and is expected to start. … Rinne was the first goaltender off the ice for the Predators and is expected to start.

Who's hot: Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton against St. Louis. … Jones had two assists in Nashville's season-opening 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.