Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan announced some lineup changes for his team before tonight's matchup against the Nashville Predators. Defenseman Andrej Sekera will be back in the lineup, taking Brandon Davidson spot on a pairing with Kris Russell, and forward Drake Caggiula will be back on the fourth line with Zack Kassian and Mark Letestu. Defenseman Yohann Auvitu will be an healthy scratch.
Sekera, 31, only played eight games with the Oilers so far this season. He played his first game on December 21st, after he had off-season surgery on his knee. He registered one assist, eight penalty minutes and a defensive differential of minus eight. Sekera was signed as a free agent by the Oilers in 2015. Drafted 71st overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 2004, the Slovak defenseman played 655 games in the NHL with the Sabres, the Los Angeles Kings, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Oilers, registering 225 points. He added four points in 19 playoff games.
Caggiula, 23, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oilers in 2016, after he spent four seasons with the University of North Dakota (NCAA). He played 31 games with the Oilers this season, registering nine points. In 91 games played in the NHL so far, the Pickering, Ontario native has 12 goals and 15 assists for a total of 27 points.
The Oilers have been struggling so far this season, and they will have to turn things around soon if they want to keep a shot at making the playoffs. They are currently sixth in the Pacific division with a record of 18-22-3. Edmonton have lost their last two games, and they are 4-5-1 in their last ten games. Cam Talbot will get the start for the Oilers, and he will be facing Pekka Rinne. The Predators are currently third in the Central division with a record of 24-11-6.
Oilers prospect Stuart Skinner has been traded from the Lethbridge Hurricanes to the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) today. The 19-year old netminder, drafted 78th overall by Edmonton in 2017, has a record of 14-15-0 in 31 starts so far this season, with a goal-against average of 3.38 and a .897 save percentage.