The Oilers skated at Rexall Place Sunday with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins back in a familiar spot on the top line. Taylor Hall was shifted to the left side to play with the centre. The lines were:
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Perron - Gordon - Hemsky
Smyth/Hamilton - Arcobello - Yakupov
Gazdic - Acton - Brown
Jesse Joensuu did not skate (pronounced day-to-day), neither did defencemen Andrew Ference and Ladislav Smid (maintenance days).
Hall talked about moving back to the left side and playing with Nugent-Hopkins.
"I'm excited to be back playing with Nuge. I'm excited for him to be back, it's a huge addition to our team," said Hall. "I'm happy being on wing. I've played there for a long time and had a lot of success there so I'm comfortable with the position and I've just got to revert back to my old habits now."
Nugent-Hopkins echoed Hall's comments, being happy to play with familiar linemates.
"We talked and we're happy to be playing with each other again. It was a long recovery and I'm happy to be back."
Head Coach Dallas Eakins explained his thought process behind moving Hall back to the wing and putting Nugent-Hopkins with familiar linemates.
"As we did with Hall early, we thought it was important with him at a new position to put some veterans around him during training camp to help the process. Now with Nugent-Hopkins coming back it's good to give him some players that he's familiar with. The second part of it is, Hall's whole line that he had been playing with who were good in training camp (Smyth-Hall-Hemsky) have suffered a little bit early so we'll shake that up," Eakins began.
"Will Acton's line has played very well for me. Gordon has been one of the few guys that's been very consistent so far. Arcobello's pulling his weight. So we're able to go back the other way and see how it goes. We may not be finished with Hall in the middle but at least for the next game -- or at least for the start of it -- we are."