Oilers’ winger Evander Kane will be a “game-time decision” for Game 6

Edmonton OIlers Evander Kane
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers held an optional skate on Friday morning ahead of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place.
The team’s full practice on Thursday featured the same lines that the Oilers have used in back-to-back wins over the Florida Panthers, but nothing has been set in stone for Friday’s must-win game. Evander Kane skated with the main group on an extra line with Sam Carrick and Sam Gagner and the big winger could return to Edmonton’s lineup in Game 6.
“He’s looked good on the ice and is feeling much better,” head coach Kris Knoblauch said following the team’s skate on Thursday. “That’ll be a game-time decision.”
Kane suited up for all of the team’s games in the first three rounds of the playoffs against the L.A. Kings, Vancouver Canucks, and Dallas Stars but has only played in Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final because of an injury. Through 20 playoff games, Kane has scored four goals and eight points and he’s racked up 37 penalty minutes.
There’s no doubt that the Oilers would love to have Kane’s scoring ability and physical edge against the Panthers, but if he’s ready to play, the question becomes: Who comes out of the lineup?
Corey Perry played the fewest minutes of any Oiler in Game 5 in Florida at 7:07 but scored what wound up being the game-winning goal in the second period. Mattias Janmark and Connor Brown have been huge for the Oilers on the penalty kill and certainly won’t be removed from the lineup. Dylan Holloway, Warren Foegele, and Ryan McLeod, meanwhile, have combined for five goals in the Stanley Cup Final, so it seems unlikely any of them would be coming out.
The odd-man-out if Kane is available could be Derek Ryan, who hasn’t found the back of the net in 17 playoff games. Ryan has been Edmonton’s fourth-line centre with McLeod and Perry on his wings over the past couple of games, but McLeod could move back to the middle of the ice in order to make room for Kane.
“He contributes in both positions,” Knoblauch said of McLeod. “There are a lot of considerations. I don’t see Ryan as better on the wing or middle. He has positive attributes at both. It’s about what our team needs.” 
While Holloway was seen out on the ice a few minutes after most left the optional skate, it’s no indication that he would come out of the lineup. Connor McDavid, Corey Perry and a few others were on the ice around the same time as Holloway, who was also available in the Oilers locker room for questions after.


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