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McLellan on line shuffle

by Chris Wescott @TheChrisWescott / Head Writer

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan took to shuffling up the forward lines a bit on Friday following the team's 5-3 loss to the Rangers in New York last night.

McLellan swapped Milan Lucic and Patrick Maroon on the left side, while elevating Jesse Puljujarvi on the right. Maroon was back with Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle. Lucic was with Leon Draisaitl and Zack Kassian. Benoit Pouliot and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were matched with Puljujarvi. The fourth line remained intact.

"Up front, we're looking at shuffling some things around," said McLellan. "Connor's line is in on a lot of offensive chances but they've been giving up a lot. The other two lines give the ability to find a way to score a little bit more and take the pressure off our goaltender and the back end."

McLellan says the defensive pairings may not change much. Judging by practice, we could see Eric Gryba make his return on the third pair tomorrow against the Islanders.

"The defence pairings aren't going to change a whole lot," McLellan said. "We'll move guys in and around the lineup. The six or the seven of them have done quite a good job for the most part, I think. We've made a lot of progress in that area.

"It's up front where we've been hit or miss with different lines on different nights. One line is clicking and two others aren't. Perhaps the most consistent threesome has been our fourth line of (Tyler) Pitlick, (Anton) Lander and (Mark) Letestu. They seem to give us a good game every night in the minutes they're given."

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