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Petersen takes a turn on defence

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
by Marc Ciampa

In an effort to try and spark his team offensively, head coach Craig MacTavish went to Oilers forward Toby Petersen and asked him to play some shifts on defence Saturday night against Columbus.

Petersen skated out on the ice with Marc-Andre Bergeron as his defence partner and actually fared very well. He moved the puck out of his zone well, got the puck deep in the Columbus end and helped created several scoring opportunities. In all, Petersen was on the back-end for three shifts.

"Two and a half," Petersen corrected. "They scored the empty netter on my final shift out there."

MacTavish went to him about midway through the third and simply asked him to move back there. It wasn't the first time in Petersen's career that he found himself as a rearguard.

"I feel pretty comfortable out there. As games have worn on in past seasons I've found myself back there creating some offence," he said. "I'd never put myself as a defenceman on a personal information sheet but I've played some D quite a bit in the past."

Positionally, Petersen didn't look out of place at all. In the early part of his career with Pittsburgh, some members of the Penguins organization suggested he convert.

"I've had some scouts who wanted to move me back there but that's a different time and a different era," he said. "Definitely, I'm a forward."
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