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Oilers’ Evander Kane might return to oppose Kraken

Oct 18, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane (91) skates against the Buffalo Sabres at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers could get a boost to their lineup for the Tuesday night game against the visiting Seattle Kraken.

Forward Evander Kane, originally expected to miss three to four months after getting his left wrist cut by a skate blade Nov. 8 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, could return for the Pacific Division showdown.

“I feel good right now,” Kane said after returning to practice Monday, skating on a line with Ryan McLeod and Warren Foegele. “I’ve been itching to get back, 3 1/2 weeks ago. … hopefully we can get some good news here. … We’ll see what the doctors say.

“If it were the Stanley Cup Final, I probably would have been back five weeks ago. Obviously, it’s something you don’t want to play around with and want to make sure it is strong, and right now, I feel that way.”

Kane, who signed a four-year, $20.5 million contract in the offseason, has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 14 games this season. He tied for the NHL lead in goals scored during last season’s playoffs (13 goals in 15 games).

“Anytime you can add a player of his caliber, I think that’s a real positive to any organization,” said Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft, whose team has won three games in a row.

Still, Kane admitted his wrist isn’t 100 percent.

“I don’t know if it’s ever going to be full strength at least this season,” he said, “but I feel it’s as good as it’s going to be for a decent stretch of time. Like I said, I’m looking forward to getting back as soon as possible … I’m coming back with no excuses when I do come back.”

The Oilers have been idle since a 4-3 road victory Saturday over the division-leading Vegas Golden Knights, a game in which Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl scored twice.

“I think we’re finding our game a little bit, finding our identity as a team,” said Draisaitl, who had his 50th career multigoal game. “It was a good effort again. We’ve been playing some good hockey.”

The same can be said of the Kraken, though they had their franchise-record, eight-game winning streak snapped with a 4-1 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning in a Monday matinee.

That came after the Kraken set an NHL record by going 7-0-0 on a seven-game trip that opened with a 5-2 victory at Edmonton on Jan. 3 and concluded with an 8-5 win in Chicago on Saturday night.

“It’s not one you look at on the schedule and say, ‘This one’s going to be an easy one to be at the top of your game,'” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said of the Monday matchup. “I felt like our group was good. It was ready to go.”

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 of 29 shots for the Kraken, who allowed two empty-net goals in the final 1:39.

“Hopping around in time zones is a little tricky,” Grubauer said. “Obviously, nice to be back after a seven-game road trip. Back on the road (Tuesday), so need to make sure we take the next one.”

–Field Level Media