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AT THE MORNING SKATE
The Oilers held an optional morning skate Wednesday, with only about 15 skaters taking to the ice. Among them was Steve Staios, who donned a maroon "no contact" jersey for his first team practice since suffering a concussion January 16 in San Jose.
Staios will not play tonight vs. Philadelphia and has no timeline for his return.
"I honestly haven't looked at the schedule," he said after the skate. "I've really been focused on how I was feeling and coming to the rink and doing everything I can to get ready.
"There's a couple of skating tests that I have to get through, one that I did today that I was close on, and I know that that will improve over the next few days, and then I'll go from there."
Joining Staios as players who were at the morning skate but will not play tonight are Robert Nilsson and Fernando Pisani. The game will mark Pisani's second consecutive as a healthy scratch, and Head Coach Pat Quinn explained that "it's about maintaining a level of intensity."
"I pulled him out because I didn't think that he was playing with energy," Quinn said. "I haven't spoken to him about it necessarily, but to me it's just part of his recovery (from ulcerative colitis).
"When we were using them (Pisani, Ethan Moreau & Shawn Horcoff) as a checking unit, they were logging lots of time going out against the opposition's best lines. So that kept the minutes up, but if you're not right on top of your physical game, then the quality of play comes down."
Potulny faces former teammates
Ryan Potulny was the other Oilers forward to miss Monday's game vs. Carolina, due to flu-like symptoms, but the 25-year-old will be back in the line-up tonight to face his former teammates.
Potulny played 44 games with the Flyers from 2005 to 2008, and he has fond memories of those seasons as a rookie.
"It was fun playing there. It's a good organization -- they take care of the players pretty well, much like here," Potulny recalled. "My first year with the Flyers was my first year in the league. You don't know what to expect as much. I'm getting a better role to play here with Edmonton. I'm playing a lot more than I did in Philly my first year, and I'm more of a pro. I've learned the ropes a little bit, I've been around a while now with my fourth year, so I've figured things out a little bit better so it's easier to make the transition.
"They're going to be a hardworking team and we're going to have our hands full, but I think we're ready for it."
Associate Coach Tom Renney agreed.
"These guys play one way and one way only, and they have forever, and that's 100 miles an hour, north-south," he said. "I think it's going to expose some character, if you will, and I think it will help others to provide more of it. We have to compete right from the get go, there's no question about that."
Starting goalie Jeff Deslauriers added that the Oilers need to build on Monday's success with a solid effort tonight.
"We know Philly is a pretty good team, a pretty skilled team too, and they're going to come hard, so if we want the game we're going to have to work harder than them," he said. "It's going to be the same thing as last game. I think we played a good game against Carolina and we have to bring back that work ethic in the game tonight."
OILERS 1 - FLYERS 0
Former Flyer Ryan Potulny scored a goal with 16 seconds left to break the ice and lift Edmonton to its second consecutive victory.
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com