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Status of Oilers winger Evander Kane up in the air for Game 3

Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch
Photo credit:Oilersnation
Zach Laing
1 month ago
The status of Evander Kane is up in the air ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Kane, who has battled injury throughout the playoffs, was one of the first Oilers on the ice Wednesday at Rogers Place, but after a minutes-long conversation with head coach Kris Knoblauch, he left the ice.
Knoblauch was coy around Kane’s status for Game 3, going so far as to say he and his coaching staff “haven’t decided yet” if the winger would play.
Having skated on the Oilers’ second line alongside Leon Draisaitl and Dylan Holloway in each of the first two games of the series, Ryan McLeod was skating in his spot at practice. It’s unknown if McLeod was there as a placeholder or if he would be filling that position in the lineup.
Corey Perry, meanwhile, drew in on the Oilers’ fourth line alongside Warren Foegele Sam Carrick and Derek Ryan, who rotated in at the centre ice position. Knoblauch said he was expecting to play.
Kane’s absence wasn’t the only notable one from Oilers practice, as Darnell Nurse wasn’t seen on the ice. Black ace Ben Gleason skated on the Oilers’ second pair alongside Vincent Desharnais, and Knoblauch said the club “hasn’t really thought about” Nurse being out of the lineup. The pairings otherwise remained the same from Game 2, with Mattias Ekholm and Evan Bouchard skating together, and Brett Kulak and Philip Brobeg.
When it comes to Nurse, Knoblauch said “we haven’t considered much of not having him for the next game.”
The Oilers are looking to get back to the basics down 2-0 in the series to the Florida Panthers.
“Just focusing on the details of what we need to do,” said Knoblauch. “Playing our game, and thinking about all those things we’ve done well through the season and accomplished.
“They should be very proud and happy about what they’ve done so far this year. Now, in saying that, no one is content about what they’ve accomplished right now, but I think they should feel good about themselves, how good of a team we’ve got. Each individual are good hockey players, and if we bring it collectively, we should have a pretty good chance.”
McLeod said he was excited about the opportunity to skate alongside Draisaitl again.
“It’s going to be good,” said McLeod. “Hopefully, I can get my legs going a little more, get on the forecheck, and create some disruption.
“It’s always fun playing with those two, so hopefully we can get it going.”

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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