SUN Hockey Pool

Fourth-liners energized

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

SAN JOSE -- Their contribution is not measured on the scoreboard.

They are the energy line, responsible for providing grit without conceding any goals.

But every now and then the Edmonton Oilers fourth line chips in with one, which is what they did in a 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.

"That line, they have a certain comfort level with one another," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"We talked about it (Saturday), about getting them back together. Sometimes when Kyle (Brodziak) maybe plays up in the lineup or even maybe Curtis (Glencross), when he plays up in the lineup, they don't have that same comfort level that they have playing with one another.

"You see the kids have a comfort level when they play with one another and those guys have a comfort level with each other."

Brodziak, Glencross and Zack Stortini have been a consistent unit for the Oilers practically since they were put together in early February.

Glencross, 25, added another physical dimension to the line, along with good hands. There aren't many players he doesn't try to run through the boards.

Heading into yesterday's encounter against the San Jose Sharks, Glencross had seven points since coming to Edmonton via a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"They just have to keep getting the puck in deep early and banging," MacTavish said.

"They played really well (against Phoenix). When you can get a plus game out of your fourth line, you're going to win a lot of those games."

The line was responsible for the Oilers third goal in the win over the Coyotes.

Without limited special teams ice time, the trio have to make the most of the minutes made available to them, although Brodziak does kill penalties.

Against the Coyotes, a couple of early penalties had the trio cooling their heels for the first half of the opening period.

"I think once we got into the flow of the game in the second period we started playing well," Glencross said.

"It's tough to get any flow in the first period when we take a penalty early or when we get a power play early and (Saturday) we had one of each.

"We didn't get out there until about the 12-minute mark of the first period and it was tough to get in the flow."


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