Hartikainen should be back in Oilers lineup for Tuesday’s game
NHL Oilers Hartikainen Edmonton
EDMONTON - As a guy who makes his living delivering hits, Teemu Hartikainen wasn’t about to criticize the work of Patrick Bordeleau.
But he did not see the six-foot-six giant bearing down on him in the second period of the Edmonton Oilers’ game against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday and took the brunt of the impact.
The Oilers winger left the game with shoulder injury, but does expect he’ll be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.
“I got a bad hit from a bad angle that pushed my shoulder down. It hurt during the game and yesterday, but it feels pretty good now,” said Hartikainen, who had shoulder issues last season but not on his left side.
“Everything looks OK. I can shoot. I can pass. I don’t feel anything when I’m on the ice. I think I’m good to go.”
If Hartikainen cannot play against the Kings, head coach Ralph Krueger said he would go with seven defencemen and 11 forwards.
Lennart Petrell, meanwhile, isn’t expected to be available. He was hit by a puck tha ricocheted off the post after a Ben Eager shot and drilled him on the side of the head during Saturday’s pre-game warm-up.
The Oilers have not put Petrell on the injured reserve list, so he hasn’t yet been diagnosed with a concussion, but he does have some dizziness and he wasn’t on the ice at Monday’s practice.
Petrell had a helmet during the warm-up, something that has become the norm with the Oilers since Taylor Hall was sliced by a skate blade pre-game at Columbus, Ohio, last season.
“We’re going to develop a new warm-up where one player goes out at a time.” said Krueger.
Time to roll
The Oilers, 6-5-3, have three home games remaining, including Tuesday’s contest with the Kings, before they roll out for a nine-game expedition.
The Oilers have won consecutive games only once this season, but they also haven’t had back-to-back games without getting at least one point in the standings.
“We need, badly, to put some games together,” said Krueger. “We need to move up in the standings and get into a stronger position here before the road trip. We need to string some (wins) together.”
The Oilers are 1-0 against the Kings, a win remembered for Nail Yakupov’s slide across the ice after he scored the goal that sent the game to overtime.
Krueger said he cannot imagine that there will be any payback from the Kings, given it was only youthful exuberance, but he does expect that Los Angeles will be a surly lot after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
The Kings are 3-5-1 on the road.
“We know L.A. is going to come in here angry. We know they’re going to come in heavy and hard,” Krueger said. “They’re an experienced, grumpy team, which makes them dangerous.”
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