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Roster Roulette: Likely Oilers Lineup Changes for Game 3 vs Kings

After an overtime loss in Game 2, what are the likely lineup changes for the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 vs the Kings?

The Edmonton Oilers didn’t play badly, but they didn’t put forth their best effort against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. Losing Game 2 and home ice advantage in the series, the Kings had some bounces go in, but showed up in a big way versus an Oilers roster that wasn’t as ready as they were in Game 1. Needing a better effort in LA on Friday, what roster will the Oilers be running with?

It was a travel day for Edmonton will miss practice on Friday morning, but what lineup will head coach Kris Knoblauch go to? Unlike in years past, there’s depth on this roster and what’s the point in having it if there’s no intention to use it when needed?

Some of this could come in the form of some line juggling. Other changes might include bringing players out to bring others in. Connor Brown is a name that comes to mind, having sat on the sidelines in the first two games, but after finding his rhythm down the stretch and as the regular season came to a close. This is a player with a lot to lose, on a one-year deal, with real motivation to produce. He’s a solid penalty killer, a good forechecker, and a good two-way forward.

What about Derek Ryan? Would swapping Sam Carrick out and bringing Ryan in help the bottom six? That’s a bit of a risk considering Carrick and Dylan Holloway had a little magic cooking in Game 2. The same could be said for Mattias Janmark who fed Holloway on the forward’s second goal of the game.

Oilers Shouldn’t Risk Overthinking Lineup Changes Either

Do the Oilers make a more polarizing call and pull out someone like Evander Kane? He’s had chances but he’s not capitalized on them yet.

Because the Oilers haven’t played poorly and some of the goals have been incredibly flukey, making changes might backfire. That’s something the team should consider, knowing that one game where the Kings score two or less could swing the momentum.

Do Oilers Let Stuart Skinner’s Leash Extend Beyond Game 3?

Skinner played well in Game 1, with no chance on three of the four goals scored by LA. Game 2 was a bit of a different story. Skinner wasn’t bad, but there were stops he needed to make and one goal was the difference in an overtime loss. Calvin Pickard has played extremely well. Perhaps Knoblauch lets Pickard know to be ready.

Stuart Skinner Edmonton Oilers win

The best bet will be to give Skinner another shot in Game 3 to steal the show. If he can do so, a confident starter could be what the Oilers need to take the lead back in the series and ultimately put it away.

Next: Dylan Holloway’s Heroics Not Enough to Earn Oilers Game 2 Win

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