In an effort to spark the team on Sunday in Chicago, Oilers head coach Todd McLellan put Ryan Nugent-Hopkins back together with Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl. It worked as the Oilers peppered 31 shots in the final two periods -- including 22 in the middle frame -- after only registering five shots on goal in the first.
McLellan put the three back together for practice on Tuesday in Anaheim. He was asked about moving a centre to the wing in order to create that line while going up against a team deep down the middle like the Ducks.
“We’re in a catch-22 situation. We’re of the belief that Anton and (Letestu) can provide us with some punch down there. They’re getting every opportunity to do it and I think that’s a great thing for them at this point. For us to be successful they’re going to have to provide it,” McLellan began.
“Our team was a different team when we put Leon back with Nuge and Hallsy. And the other thing that came out of the game was I thought Ebs got going a little bit, too. He’s getting closer to getting up to speed and feeling good about his game.”
McLellan said that he felt the team is staffed up to handle what the Ducks throw at them, so long as they don't lose anymore players. Including Hendricks, the Oilers have four forwards out at the moment.
“We just don’t want to lose any players right now. We’re so busy trying to find a few extra guys that the last thing we need to do is lose players. That’s a fine balance between the coaching staff and how we set our lines up.”