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Tippett To Split Up Connor McDavid And Leon Draisaitl

McDavid will team up with Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujärvi, while the DRY line reunites tonight

Anaheim Ducks v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Some line changes prior to tonight’s game in Arizona

  • The 97/29 connection has been split up for now, and that’s just fine. The second line needs a bit of a jump start, and there’s not a much better way to do that than by reuniting the DRY line. Draisaitl will be down the middle, flanked by RNH and Kailer Yamamoto.
  • In splitting up the McDavid / Draisaitl connection, Zach Hyman will earn a promotion to the top line. I’m a little surprised that Dave Tippett didn’t roll with this line to start the season. You’ve now got two scoring lines, you hope that the third line continues to take a step forward. Can’t argue with the results of the 97/29 combo, as they both have eight points in their first three games of the season.
  • NO CHANGES ON D: We’ve hit game 4 of the season and we’ve seen Evan Bouchard get more than a few looks on the Nurse pair. I’d expect to see it again at some point tonight, which would again put Barrie on the third pair. I’m not sure how many more games it will take Dave Tippett to make it permanent, but it sure looks like it’s only a matter of time at this point.
  • Mikko Koskinen will start tonight after Mike Smith suffered a lower body injury in Edmonton’s 6-5 win over Anaheim on Tuesday night. Mikko Koskinen turned aside 20 of 21 shots in relief, picking up his first win of the season. Stuart Skinner has been recalled, though I wouldn’t expect to see him tonight or tomorrow unless the wheels pop off in either game.