The Edmonton Oilers start the second half of their schedule Tuesday night, taking on the New York Rangers at Rogers Place.
The Oilers are 20-17-4, but have gone just 4-10-1 in their last 15 games.
“We needed some practice time. We had a couple of good practice days here,” head coach Dave Tippett said of the team’s three days between games.
“When you don’t practice a lot, you’re more concerned about conserving energy than building your game. When you get some practices, you can address some things in your game that you address all the time, but it’s different when you address them on video compared to on the ice.”
Defenseman William Lagesson will make his NHL debut. The 23-year-old was drafted by the Oilers 91st overall in 2014. He’s spent the last season-and-a-half with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
“Excited to see what he can do. He’s a young defenseman who plays the game real hard,” Tippett said.
“I’m going to play really hard and really focus on my defensive part of my game,” said Lagesson, who has eight points in 21 games with the Condors this season.
Up front, Kailer Yamamoto will make his season debut. The Oilers first round pick from 2017 has played 26 NHL games in the last two seasons. He has 16 points in the AHL this year.
“I’ve been here before. It’s nothing new,” Yamamoto said. “These last couple of years have definitely taught me a lot, how to play against those bigger guys.”
The Oilers expected lineup is:
- Neal – McDavid – Kassian
- Nygard – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
- Khaira – Nugent-Hopkins – Gagner
- Sheahan – Haas – Archibald
- Klefbom – Bear
- Lagesson – Larsson
- Nurse – K. Russell
Catch the Oilers and Rangers on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5 p.m. MT. The game starts at 7 p.m. MT.