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PREVIEW: Oilers vs. Kings in Vernon, BC

The Edmonton Oilers take on the Los Angeles Kings in British Columbia as part of Kraft's Hockeyville festivities

by Marc Ciampa / EdmontonOilers.com

Video: OILERS TODAY | Hockeyville Pregame

The Oilers continue their pre-season with a game in Vernon, BC against a Los Angeles Kings split squad group. It can be seen live on Sportsnet across Canada starting at 7:00 PM MDT. 

Check below for our game preview, which will be updated throughout the morning with lineup updates as well as our Morning Skate Report. 

INSIDE THE OILERS

Coverage of Oilers training camp as it continues, including Leon Draisaitl and Andrej Sekera finally joining the team on ice after making it to the World Cup Final.

>> READ MORE IN THE INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG

MORNING SKATE REPORT

Oilers projected lineup for the game vs. Los Angeles:

Forward Lines:

Lucic - McDavid - Eberle
Pouliot - Nugent-Hopkins - Puljujarvi
Versteeg - Caggiula - Yakupov
Slepyshev - Lander - Pakarinen

Defencemen:

Nurse - Davidson
Oesterle - Benning
Fraser - Gryba

Goaltenders:

Brossoit
Gustavsson 

Kings projected lineup for the game at Vernon:

Forwards:

Pearson - Carter - Toffoli
Clifford - Dowd - Mersch
King - Lewis - Purcell
Bjorkstrand - Crescenzi - Bissonnette

Defence:

Forbort - Greene
McNabb - Ladue
Gravel - Gilbert

Goaltenders:

Zatkoff

VERNON, BC - The Oilers play their fifth game of the pre-season tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. It's a special one, being in Vernon, BC. The town of Lumby, BC won Kraft's annual Hockeyville contest and as a result, the entire town of 1,600 population Lumby was offered free tickets to the game in the 2,000 capacity rink in Vernon. 

When the teams arrived, there was a red carpet treatment and hundreds of cheering Oilers fans to greet their heroes as they walked down the line to sign autographs. 

"The last time I played in here was 04-05 with the Coquitlum Express," said Oilers forward Milan Lucic. "This was the barn. It was the best place in the BCHL to play in. Coming back here 12 years later it's pretty cool for me to see. You were almost wowed by it as a 16 year old."

However, Lucic did caution that the team can't let the fact that they're here for a pre-season game get away from them. 

"A lot going on with Kraft Hockeyville and all that type of fun stuff. In the back of our minds, we have to remember that this is a tune-up game," Lucic continued. 

"It's a fun event to be part of and hopefully we can put on a good show for them."

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan sensed that it will be a special night. 

"I think the fans will get treated to a really good night and the players will go back to their roots. It's fun to come to these buildings into a junior or midget-type atmosphere."

The Edmonton bench boss was also asked about the Lucic-Eberle-McDavid line which sees their second night of pre-season action after playing last Wednesday in Vancouver. 

"If they play the same game they played in Vancouver and finish on some of their opportunities, we'll be fine but it's going to take some time. I know there was a buzz in our city about are they the right linemates for Connor but it's way too early to get into that. Jordan played the majority of (last) season with Connor and they had an opportunity to connect." McLellan began. 

"Looch is coming to a new line, a new organization, a new language, new system. It'll take some time. We're prepared to give him the time. We want to see them communicating on the bench, read and react off each other. But they'll be fine. They'll be there when we need them."

OTHER LINES

Benoit Pouliot will play with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi to make up the second line for the Oilers tonight. 

Kris Versteeg and Drake Caggiula continue their impressive pre-seasons and will skate with Nail Yakupov on the third line. Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander and Iiro Pakarinen play on line four. 

Defence pairings are Nurse-Davidson, Oesterle-Benning and Fraser-Gryba.

Laurent Brossoit gets the start in goal with Jonas Gustavsson backing up. 

-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com

PREVIEW

OILERS (2-2-0) at KINGS (2-2-0)

TV: 7 p.m. MT; Sportsnet

Oilers team scope: With the Oilers having reduced their roster to 36 players on Saturday, it's likely that they will dress a strong lineup tonight in Vernon and continue to do so through to the end of the pre-season schedule. ... Drake Caggiula has impressed as the only Oilers skater with more than one goal so far. Caggiula has two goals in three games and also leads the Oilers with 12 shots on goal. Having played left wing in North Dakota, Caggiula has been playing primarily down the middle for the Oilers and is emerging as a viable option as a third-line centre. ... The line of Connor McDavid, Milan Lucic and Jordan Eberle played together for the first time this past Wednesday in Vancouver and they could potentially reunite tonight in Vernon.   

Kings team scope: The Kings will be bringing a split squad to Vernon tonight with their other half suiting up in Anaheim. Former Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert leads the Kings in pre-season scoring with four points (all assists) in three games so far. Trevor Lewis and Nic Dowd each have two goals to tie for the team lead in that category. ... Jonathan Quick hasn't played in a game yet since returning from the World Cup. He will see action very soon; potentially as soon as tonight.

-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com

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