Edmonton Oilers looking for strength and speed from Zack Kassian as playoffs begin

Zack Kassian returns to action Wednesday night when the Edmonton Oilers open up the playoffs at Rogers Place against the Winnipeg Jets.

Kassian was limited to 27 regular season games after dealing with two injuries. On April 21, he was hurt when throwing a body check on Montreal’s Shea Weber. He hasn’t played since.

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“Injuries are part of the game,” said Kassian. “I’m honestly just excited to get back and help my team any way I can.”

On defence, it’s a similar story for Slater Koekkoek. He suffered a broken collarbone against Calgary on Feb. 20. After playing in Saturday’s regular season finale against Vancouver, Koekkoek is expected to remain in the lineup against the Jets.

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“Both those guys are big guys. They have a history of playing well in the playoffs,” said Oilers head coach Dave Tippett.

“Kassian has come a long way in the last week or 10 days. I didn’t expect him to be ready, but he’s at 100 per cent. He’s a big, strong guy with speed. He plays a playoff style.”

The Oilers expected lineup is:

Kahun – McDavid – Puljujarvi

Nugent- Hopkins – Draisaitl – Yamamoto

Archibald – Khaira – Chiasson

Neal – McLeod – Kassian

Nurse – Barrie

Kulikov – Larsson

Koekkoek – Bear


The Oilers and Jets are on 630 CHED with the Faceoff Show at 5 p.m. The game starts at 7 p.m.

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