Oscar Klefbom returns to the Edmonton Oilers’ top power play unit Monday night when they host the New York Rangers.
Klefbom hasn’t manned the point on the number one unit since he was injured on Dec. 11. Darnell Nurse has been in that spot, even after Klefbom returned from a hand injury 16 games ago.
“The rotation is too slow. It’s got to speed up. Klef is a different look than Darnell. We’re hoping that the puck rotates across the puck and gets to the flanks quicker,” said head coach Ken Hitchcock.
“There’s a three-man rotation that, if it’s efficient, you end up with quality opportunities and you end up playing downhill.
The Oilers power play was 0/4 in a 3-2 loss to Toronto on Saturday and is 0/12 over the last five games.
The Rangers, 28-28-12, snapped a six-game winless skid by beating New Jersey 4-2 on Saturday.
“You can’t outwork that team. You can beat them if you really play well, but you’re not going to outwork them.
“They have too much efficiency and too many good young players who can transition the puck and are willing to do all the little things. You can see the formulation of what this team is going to be in a year or two,” said Hitchcock.
Milan Lucic will miss his second straight game with a hip issue. Hitchcock said he skated before Monday’s morning skate and should practise with his teammates on Tuesday.
The Oilers expected lineup is:
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Khaira – Nugent-Hopkins – Gagner
Rieder – Cave – Chiasson
Malone – Brodziak – Currie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning
Catch the Oilers and Rangers on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game starts at 7 p.m.