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Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Unclear On Status of Nurse and Draisaitl For Game 3

The Edmonton Oilers believe they’ll have Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse for Game 3 versus the Panthers, but that’s not a given yet.

When asked, Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said it would be a huge loss if the team was without Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. That said, as of now, it’s not clear what their status is for the game. In Nurse’s case, he’s dealing with an injury issue suffered in Game 2 that forced him out of the lineup and limited his ice time to just over 4 minutes. For Draisaitl, the league might take a look at a high hit on Aleksander Barkov that could see Barkov miss time.

The belief is that Nurse should be OK to go. He came in late in the third after refusing to leave the bench in Game 2. With three days before Game 3, the rest might be enough to get him back to a level where he can manage his typical amount of ice time and not be a liability for the Oilers.

Draisaitl’s status may depend on Barkov’s. If the Panthers center is out, Florida may appeal to the league to look at the Draisaitl hit. Some believe it was dirty with an elbow right to the jaw. Others thought it was barely a penalty and no more dirty than many of the other hits that have been delivered throughout the series.

Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl hit on Barkov

Can the Oilers Find a Way To Get Back In This Series?

Even if both Draisaitl and Nurse are able to play in Game 3, the Oilers are fighting an uphill battle. Down 2-0 in the series, they would be only the fourth team in Stanley Cup Final history to come back from that deficit to win. They’ll need more than just these two players in the lineup. Edmonton needs buy-in, effort, shots, energy, cohesiveness, and another level to match what Florida brought in Game 2.

Draisaitl noted, “We can certainly be better. It starts with me.” The Oilers need to step up their game in a major way in Game 3. They’ll be at home in front of their fans in Edmonton. If the team can’t find a way to do so there, this series is over, regardless of who is in the lineup. “Now it’s our job to go back to Edmonton and win two,” said Zach Hyman.

Next: Oilers Beaten Up and Beaten in 4-1 Loss to Panthers in Game 2

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