The Edmonton Oilers could have veteran defenceman Kris Russell back in the lineup Saturday night when they host the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place.
Russell, 32, hasn’t played since Jan. 29, as he’s gone through concussion protocol.
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“These games we’re playing are all tight games,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “We’ve been running with three rookie defencemen in there who have done a pretty good job, but anytime you can put a veteran guy in, especially games that there’s so much on the line with these games, a veteran guy jumping in there will help the cause.”
“He’s a guy that does anything he has to do to help the team win. I think you appreciate that, especially a goalie in this league, is guys who put it all on the line for the betterment of the group,” said goalie Mike Smith, who will start against the Jets.
Winger Kailer Yamamoto will not return from an ankle injury suffered Sunday in Los Angeles, though he is close to playing. Zack Kassian is back from a seven-game suspension.
The Oilers expected lineup is:
Athanasiou – McDavid – Ennis
Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Chiasson
Kassian – Sheahan – Archibald
Khaira – Haas – P. Russell
Nurse – Bear
Jones – Larsson
K. Russell – Benning
Catch the Oilers and Jets on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6:30 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.