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Oilers Getting Important Pieces Back For Playoff Push

The Edmonton Oilers are set to get some key pieces back in their lineup, one tonight and two more potentially this week.

The Edmonton Oilers are getting good news as they make a push towards the NHL playoffs and sit four points back of first in the Pacific Division and with a couple games at hand on the division-leading Vegas Golden Knights.

The first to return is Kailer Yamamoto as the Oilers announced on Monday he’d be in the lineup as Edmonton faces off against the Nashville Predators. This reunites arguably the most dangerous line in hockey over the past month and change as Yamamoto will line up with the NHL’s first star of February in Leon Draisaitl and the extremely-hot Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Head coach Dave Tippett said of Yamamoto’s return, “We gave him a couple extra days off and hopefully he can jump right in and that line pick up right where they left off.”

Yamamoto had 21 points in 21 games before going down to an injury that would see him miss a a handful of games. The Oilers were 13-5-3 with Yamamoto in the lineup but the team’s patience with the player has paid dividends in the past. Giving him an extra day or two to feel better is probably wise again.

He’ll give the Oilers options and add another piece to the team’s NHL-best power play. Tippett added that Yamamoto makes that line just work.

Klefbom and Neal Traveling With Team

Defenseman Oscar Klefbom is also on the road with the Oilers who expect to get him back this week, if not next week. James Neal has also joined the team and may play in one of these road games.

Klefbom is Edmonton’s clear No. 1 d-man and while the Oilers have played well in his absence but they’ll be extremely happy to get him back giving the team a stead top-six.

James Neal is also on the road with the Oilers and speculation is that he’ll get into one of these next three road games.

Athanasiou Starts on Third Line

In an attempt to take a little bit of pressure off and to ensure he has the freedom to carry the puck and do what he’s excellent at, Andreas Athanasiou will get the start on the Oilers third line tonight with Riley Sheahan has his center and Zack Kassian on his other wing. Meanwhile, Josh Arhibald will jump up to that first line where he’s had some chemistry with McDavid.

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