The Edmonton Oilers got back one of their injured defensemen in their last game and expect to have another in the lineup Thursday, when they host the St. Louis Blues. Adam Larsson returned from an upper-body injury in Edmonton’s victory over San Jose on Monday and Andrej Sekera is slated to make his season debut versus the Blues following knee surgery.
“We would have preferred to have some type of game to put him in and get the rust off, but we won’t have that,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan told the team’s website. “But he’s got to play his first game at some point. It brings (morale up).” Ryan Strome scored a pair of goals against the Sharks as Edmonton posted its second straight win and third in four contests. St. Louis hopes to overcome its recent struggles as it continues its four-game road trip having lost four of its last five overall contests, including a 2-1 setback at Calgary on Wednesday. The Blues have scored a total of two goals in the defeats, with Brayden Schenn’s team-leading 17th being the team’s lone tally against the Flames.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), Sportsnet West (Edmonton)
ABOUT THE BLUES (22-12-2): Schenn’s tally on Wednesday ended his four-game drought and drew him within three of his third consecutive 20-goal season and the fourth of his career. The 26-year-old center, who was acquired from Philadelphia over the summer, is among the league leaders with a plus-21 rating after finishing with a positive mark just once in his previous eight campaigns (plus-3 in 2015-16). Tage Thompson recorded three shots, two hits and a minus-1 rating in 14 minutes, 20 seconds of ice time Wednesday after being recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League to replace Sammy Blais, who was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
ABOUT THE OILERS (15-17-2): Larsson registered five hits and blocked four shots in 21 minutes, 55 seconds of ice time on Monday in his first appearance since Nov. 28. Nathan Walker’s stint with Edmonton was a brief one, as the 23-year-old left wing was claimed off waivers by Washington on Wednesday after appearing in just two games with the Oilers. Walker recorded two shots and a minus-1 rating for the Oilers, who obtained him from the Capitals via waivers on Dec. 1 after he became the first Australian to play in the NHL.
1. Strome’s two-goal performance against San Jose ended his nine-game drought.
2. St. Louis is 0-2-0 on its trek after going 4-0-1 in its previous five road contests.
3. Edmonton placed D Oscar Klefbom (upper-body) on injured reserve, recalled LW Anton Slepyshev from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League and traded C Greg Chase to Florida for future considerations.
PREDICTION: Oilers 3, Blues 2