Doin' the line dance

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:09 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- "Take your time."

Todd Harvey was smiling when he offered that advice to Radek Dvorak, who was talking to reporters Thursday morning before the Edmonton Oilers took on the Montreal Canadiens at Rexall Place.

With Dvorak out after aggravating a groin injury in New Jersey on Tuesday, Harvey was promoted to the second line with Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres in place of the speedy Czech and the threesome had something going in a 5-3 win. They'll stay together against the Vancouver Canucks tonight.

On the fourth line most of the season and averaging just over seven minutes of ice time a game, Harvey played 11:49 and picked up the assist, just his second point in the last 15 games, on Torres' 13th goal. The line combined for 10 shots on goal.

Dvorak's pain is Harvey's gain.

"I'd like to chip in here and there, but as long as we're getting wins that's all that matters," Harvey said. "I pride myself on being a plus player, so as long as I can get out there and do what I do, I can live with that."

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAY

With the proliferation of special teams play, Harvey has spent more time riding the pine than he'd like. While he's seen limited duty as a penalty killer, Harvey's been a spectator more often than not.

"It's time to see what he can do on a more regular basis," coach Craig MacTavish said of the hard-nosed winger. "He's fit enough that he can handle the extra ice.

"I've liked his game right from the outset. We've got some other options there. The best option is to have Dvorak in there. We miss his speed, but we have good depth at forward right now."

Harvey, 30, has scored 2-1-3 in the first 20 games he's played. He's not a numbers guy, but his first campaign in Oilers silks has been trying. It didn't help that he missed eight games right off the bat with a high-ankle sprain suffered against Vancouver Oct. 8

In simple terms, circumstances so far haven't allowed Harvey to make the kind of contribution he hoped he would when the Oilers signed him as a free agent in September of 2004.

'IT'S BEEN FRUSTRATING'

"It's been frustrating at times," Harvey admitted. "Just the way the games have been called.

"When you're on the fourth line and you don't play special teams, you're pretty much screwed. I've been trying to keep myself in a positive frame of mind."

It's not as if Harvey expects to turn more ice time into big numbers - not with 88 career goals in 628 NHL games - but he'd like to take advantage of this opportunity to get something going.

"I'm not going to change too much, obviously," Harvey smiled. "I'm not going out there thinking I'm a point-producer.

"They (Stoll and Torres) move the puck pretty well. I've got to play smart and go to the front of the net. I've just got to remember to stay out of the way when Stolly shoots it."


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