This is a big game for the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Not only is the Pacific Division race tighter than ever (the Oilers are thankful the Calgary Flames lost in regulation) but they are finally getting some key pieces back into the lineup. So too, one player is trying to join an exclusive club and set a record for German-born NHL players.
Russell Back In, Green Out
We’d previously reported Mike Green was out four-to-six weeks with an injury but the good news is, the Edmonton Oilers have activated Kris Russell from the LTIR and the defenceman is set to slide into tonight’s lineup.
Russell will play alongside Matt Benning who also slots back in with the injury to Green. In a coinciding move, the Oilers also placed Joakim Nygard on the LTIR as he recovers from a broken hand.
Others Back In to Oilers Lineup
Zack Kassian will also suit back in after serving his seven-game suspension and Andreas Athanasiou’s injury was not serious even though it took him out of the third period versus the Golden Knights.
Athanasiou is looking forward to playing his first home game with Edmonton and Zack Kassian is looking to make an impression and show that he’s a reliable player that can be a beast on the forecheck without hurting the team.
Players Still Out for Oilers
Kailer Yamamoto is still not quite ready to go. He took a full practice with the Oilers but “He’s close but he won’t play,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett told the Edmonton media today.
James Neal is also out at forward as is Oscar Klefbom on the blue line.
Draisaitl Shooting For 100
Leon Draisaitl is literally shooting for 100 points tonight as the Oilers face the Winnipeg Jets. Every shot he takes could mean his second season of 100 points, which would put him in some fairly elite company.
No German-born player has ever had consecutive 100-point season and he would become only the 7th Oilers player to do so.
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