The Edmonton Oilers can clinch a playoff spot Monday night with a win over the Vancouver Canucks.
“We want to put that X beside our name. That’s the first step of the next part of the season,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “We’re well aware of what we have to do.”
“We’ve talked about it. Obviously, we’ve looked at the standings,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
The Oilers, 30-17-2, are second in the North Division with seven games left in the regular season. They’re on the verge of making the post-season in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001.
Jujhar Khaira will return to the lineup for the first time in two weeks. He was wobbly as left the ice in a game on April 19 against the Montreal Canadiens.
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“Looking back at the video, it looked like my head just kind of banged the glass. At that time, I didn’t think too much of it,” said Khaira.
“Comfort level is 100 per cent.”
“We kept him out a few extra days here to make sure everything is in place. He’s had some hard practices,” said Tippett. “He’s been anxious to play for three of four days now. He’s been totally cleared by all the professionals.”
The Oilers expected lineup is:
Draisaitl – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Kahun – Nugent-Hopkins – Yamamoto
Ennis – McLeod – Archibald
Neal – Khaira – Chiasson
Nurse – Barrie
Kulikov – Larsson
Jones – Bear
The Oilers and Canucks are on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.