Stone, Nilsson in lineup

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:05 PM ET

DETROIT -- Pat Quinn is hoping a pair of opposites will attract a win tonight when Ryan Stone and Robert Nilsson draw in against the Red Wings.

“You can't win if you don't have a good balance of skill and hard working guys, too,” said the Oilers head coach.

“With Stone you get the hard worker, with Bobby you get the skill... if he's willing to throw it out there and play.”

With four wins in their last 18 games and having sunk to dead last in the Western Conference, the Oilers need any kind of boost they can get.

Nilsson, when he's been at his best in previous seasons, has shown he can make a difference, but it's an element they haven't seen from him yet.

“We're hoping he plays to the skill level that he shows us during practice,” said Quinn.

“He hasn't brought it in to any games yet but we're hoping he learns to use that skill because he has it.”

They know what Stone can bring -- the Oilers were 5-2-1 with him in the lineup before he got hurt -- but he's been on the shelf for six weeks and still has a sore knee, so he's pretty much starting from scratch.

“This is almost like stage one again,” he said. “I have to go out and play hard, do all the things I did at the start of the year in camp to make the team.”

“It almost feels like the first game of the year for me. The same emotions are there. I'm excited. Playing in the Joe, there's such a history... I just want to get in there and bang a few bodies.”


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