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Edmonton Oilers leaning more on young players with injuries piling up

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith reaches out to make a save as Caleb Jones defends against Tampa Bay Lightning's Yanni Gourde during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson).
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith reaches out to make a save as Caleb Jones defends against Tampa Bay Lightning's Yanni Gourde during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson). AP Photo/Mike Carlson

With injuries mounting for the Edmonton Oilers, they’ll be leaning more on younger players when they host the Boston Bruins Wednesday night.

Defenceman Oscar Klefbom is the latest Oiler to go down. He’ll be out two to three weeks with a shoulder injury.

That means more ice time for Caleb Jones.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Jones. “It sucks to see a guy like Oscar go down but that’s a good opportunity. When I’m able to play a little bit more minutes… it allows me to settle it, get more comfortable and make a few more plays.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom out with shoulder injury

Up front, Tyler Benson will play his fifth NHL game. He earned his first NHL point on Sunday playing on a line with Josh Archibald and Riley Sheahan.

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“Just kind of watching them throughout the year, they seem like two guys who have had chemistry,” said Benson. “They’ve helped me out a lot. They’re two really responsible players. They just work really hard out there.”

Head coach Dave Tippett said captain Connor McDavid has rejoined the team as he recovers from a quad injury.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers gut out overtime win against Hurricanes

“I talked to him for a minute this morning. He’s in getting some treatments, work out with the guys. He’s in good spirits,” said Tippett.

McDavid, who is expected to be out of action for at least another week, went to Toronto to rehab the injury while the Oilers were on their recent three-game road trip.

Defenceman Evan Bouchard has been called up from Bakersfield. Markus Granlund has been sent back to the Condors.

The Oilers expected lineup against Boston is:

Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Yamamoto

Benson – Sheahan – Archibald

Gagner – Haas – Chiasson

Khaira – Dave – P. Russell

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Nurse – Bear

Jones – Larsson

Lagesson – Benning

Smith

Catch the Oilers and Bruins on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5 p.m. The game starts at 6:30 p.m.