SUN Hockey Pool

Fourth line shuffled

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:08 AM ET

SAN JOSE -- The revolving door that has been Craig MacTavish's fourth line this season might have finally found some stability.

Marty Reasoner, Brad Winchester and Patrick Thoresen, who played together early in the season, were reunited for Monday's win in Los Angeles, and MacTavish hinted he might be done with the shuffling for a while.

"They played well, they gave us 10 good minutes," said MacTavish. "We suspected that. We've seen them have some chemistry there before. Then we had to elevate Marty out of the fourth line role. Now that we have Petr (Nedved), we can put Marty back in a role that he's comfortable with, 13 to 15 minutes."

With J.F. Jacques and Marc-Antione Pouliot in the minors, neither having staked a claim to a fourth-line spot, Reasoner, Winchester and Thoresen, who had a handful of good scoring chances against the Kings, should be together a while.

"That really helps on a line, when you know what you're getting from every guy," said Reasoner. "Our games complement each other very well, we're on the same page a lot, and we had success early in the year."

MacTavish saw enough that he had them out there late in the third period of a 1-1 game.

"It's nice to have a fourth line that you can play in the last three minutes of a game and feel comfortable doing it," said MacTavish, adding reliability is everything with a fourth line. "If they chip in offensively, it's a bonus, but the one thing you have to be leery of is being scored against in limited action.

"We've seen a lot of that prior to putting this line back together, where (a fourth line)played three, four, five or six minutes and they're minus one in that short period of time.

"At this point we're not collectively good enough to overcome that most nights."


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