4th line finding chemistry

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

They have two goals in their last two games going into tonight's contest against the Vancouver Canucks.

And while it's not exactly the fourth line that was so effective during last season's late surge, Kyle Brodziak, Zack Stortini and Jason Strudwick are starting to develop a chemistry of their own.

"I think we're just keeping things simple," said Stortini. "We're getting the pucks in deep, chipping it behind their defencemen and getting in on the forecheck quickly.

"We're giving each other a lot of support, helping each other out and we compliment each other. Those are things that are very important."

Stortini scored his first goal of the year in Monday's 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, banging in a rebound past goaltender Mikael Tellqvist. Earlier in the shift he had hammered Coyotes winger Todd Fedoruk along the blue line.

Brodziak scored a big goal in the previous game, helping the Oilers earn a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

"They execute," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "We have guys that have just enough skill to get themselves in trouble.

"They don't make the simple plays when you need them to.

"Then you have those guys (fourth line) that go out there and execute and just play a simple game."

Strudwick's move up to the wing from his defensive position seems to have helped, especially Stortini.

"They're guys who bring a lot of energy," MacTavish said.

"And Zack is just really keeping his game simple.

"He's getting things done, but he's executing the simple plays too."


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