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Oilers’ Draisaitl dealt with cramping during Game 1 against Canucks

Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Oilers fans collectively held their breath on Wednesday night during Game 1 between the Oilers and Canucks when Leon Draisaitl missed the second half of the second period.
There was no big hit or apparent issue for the centre, who had helped set up Zach Hyman and Mattias Ekholm for first-period goals, but his absence was notable as the Oilers, already without Adam Henrique, were forced to scramble their lines.
He was seen taking a quick spin late in the frame, but any talk of his absence was mum until the second intermission. And while Sportsnet aired clips of him getting worked on on the bench, and a bump from Tyler Myers that could’ve caused an issue, Draiaitl was able to return and didn’t miss a shift in the third period.
After the game, Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said Draisaitl had been dealing with cramping and equipment issues, and that there was no need for concern.
It goes without saying that the Oilers need Draisaitl in the lineup if they hope to have success, so surely everyone is breathing a little easier now.
Draisaitl had an excellent first-round series against the L.A. Kings, racking up five goals and as many assists in the Oilers’ five games against them. His production continued with his aforementioned pair of assists, and that performance tied him with Cale Makar in post-season points, trailing only Connor McDavid’s 13.
It would be a surprise to no one to see Draisaitl continue to put up points against the Canucks. In 45 regular season games, he’s racked up 22 goals and 52 points against them, the second-most against any team in the league.
Game 2 between the Oilers and Canucks is set for Friday night with another 8:00 P.M. MST start.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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