June 19th, 2024

Broberg, Perry, McLeod dress as Oilers make three lineup changes for Game 4

By Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press on May 29, 2024.

San Jose Sharks' Mario Ferraro (38) and Edmonton Oilers' defenceman Philip Broberg (86) battle for the puck during NHL action in Edmonton on Monday March 20, 2023. It appears Broberg will see his first action of the playoffs against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – The Edmonton Oilers shook things up for Game 4 of the Western Conference final.

Head coach Kris Knoblauch inserted defenceman Philip Broberg, winger Corey Perry and centre Ryan McLeod into the lineup with his team trailing the Dallas Stars 2-1 in the NHL’s best-of-seven semifinal series Wednesday.

David Desharnais, Warren Foegele and Sam Carrick were all healthy scratches.

The 22-year-old Broberg registered two assists in 12 regular-season appearances with the Oilers sandwiched around a long stint with the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors in 2023-24.

Selected eighth overall at the 2019 draft, Broberg finished the minor-league schedule with five goals and 38 points in 49 contests. He played nine post-season games with the Oilers last spring after seeing action once in the 2021-22 playoffs.

On the other side, Dallas centre Radek Faksa returned to the lineup in place of Craig Smith following a two-game absence.

Knoblauch indicated there would be changes to his lineup after Edmonton lost two in a row for the first time in these playoffs, but declined to go further until the lineup was confirmed shortly before puck drop at Rogers Place.

“You’re going to have to wait,” he said with a smile Wednesday morning. “It’s a big showcase.”

Broberg was largely on the outside looking in with the Oilers until getting demoted to the AHL in November to work on his craft.

“(He’s) been making the most of his season,” Knoblauch said. “Very difficult situation here. We feel we have a player who is NHL-ready, but we had our six defencemen and we were very fortunate this year to have almost no injuries.

“You’ve got a young defenceman who we believe has got tremendous upside. (He) has to play, so if we have our six, it was not beneficial for him being here as our seventh. He went to Bakersfield and was great.”

Perry, meanwhile, rejoined the action after being scratched for the last five games. The 39-year-old former Hart Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion is without a point in the playoffs.

McLeod, 24, was scratched for Game 3 after failing to register a point in his 14 post-season games.

The bruising Desharnais, who hit the post in the third period Monday before Dallas pulled away for a 5-3 win, has one assist in 15 playoff games on defence. Foegele has a goal and three points in 15 contests, while Carrick has one assist in eight appearances.

The series shifts to Dallas for Game 5 on Friday. Game 6, if necessary, would be back in Edmonton on Sunday.

Broberg returned to the Oilers from Bakersfield at the end of the regular season, picking up assists in consecutive games. He also made two AHL playoff appearances with the Condors in late April – his last competitive action.

The Swede has two goals and 13 points in 91 combined games with the Oilers.

“In the future, down the road next season, he’s going to be a big part of this organization,” Knoblauch said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2024.

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