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At the Rink: Lightning at Oilers

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin, recalled Sunday from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, was not expected to play Monday against the Edmonton Oilers, but has been inserted in the lineup for his NHL debut because Alex Killorn sustained an upper-body injury during the morning skate.

Drouin, the third pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, was on a conditioning assignment with the Crunch after breaking his thumb in training camp.

Drouin, 19, scored 29 goals and had 108 points in 46 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season.

"I'm happy to be back with the club," Drouin said. "A couple of games in Syracuse were fun, we picked up a couple of wins there. Whenever I play, I will be ready. It's up to them to make those decisions."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper had said Drouin would sit out Monday because he played Friday and Saturday with Syracuse before making the long trip to Edmonton.

The Lightning will also be without defenseman Victor Hedman against the Oilers, who sustained a fractured finger blocking a shot Saturday in a 4-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks.

Hedman will undergo surgery on his finger and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

"You're probably going to see [Anton] Stralman's minutes go up, [Jason] Garrison's minutes are going to go up," Cooper said. "But we have a pretty good group back there, they're not rookies in this League, they should be able to shoulder the load. That's the only way we're going to make up for it, we don't have that one guy that's going to step up and be Victor Hedman."

Killorn is day-to-day.

Up front, Lightning center Steven Stamkos goes in against the Oilers with five goals and seven points in his first five games of the season. He scored twice in the win against the Canucks.

The Oilers will be keying on the Lightning captain looking to earn their first win of the season.

"He's one of the top guys in the League, so every time he is on the ice, we have to keep an eye out for him and try to limit his scoring chances," Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "Guys like to create their own chances, but with a guy like that you need to try and keep him to the outside. He has a cannon of a shot, so you have to be careful with him and try to limit him as much as possible."

Nugent-Hopkins will return to the Oilers top line between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle against the Lightning. He skated on Edmonton's second line in his first game back from injury, Friday in a 2-0 loss against the Canucks.

Nugent-Hopkins, the first pick in the 2011 draft, expects to frequently line up across from Stamkos, the first pick in the 2008 draft.

"He's obviously a well-rounded player, he sees the game really well, he thinks the game really well," Nugent-Hopkins said. "He knows how to put himself in the right situation all the time. We have to be careful when he's out there and we have to try and take away his time and space."

Goaltender Ben Bishop will start for the Lightning. Ben Scrivens makes his third consecutive start for the Oilers.

Here are the projected lineups:


Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

David Perron - Leon Draisaitl - Teddy Purcell

Benoit Pouliot - Mark Arcobello - Nail Yakupov

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Jesse Joensuu

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry

Martin Marincin - Mark Fayne

Nikita Nikitin - Justin Schultz

Ben Scrivens

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Will Acton, Brad Hunt

Injured: Viktor Fasth (groin), Luke Gazdic (shoulder)


Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Jonathan Drouin - Valtteri Filppula - Tyler Johnson

Nikita Kucherov - Vladislav Namestnikov - J.T. Brown

Brenden Morrow - Brian Boyle - Brett Connolly

Matthew Carle - Anton Stralman

Jason GarrisonAndrej Sustr

Mark Barberio - Eric Brewer

Ben Bishop

Evgeni Nabokov

Scratched: Luke Witkowski

Injured: Alex Killorn (upper body) Victor Hedman (hand), Radko Gudas (lower body)

Status report: Barberio will make his season debut Monday when he's inserted into the lineup for Hedman. He had been a healthy scratch for the first five games of the season … Fasth was back on the ice for the first time since sustaining a groin injury in a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 14. He took part in the morning skate, but is still on the Oilers' injured reserve list. Coach Dallas Eakins said the injury was not as severe as first suspected, but could not give a timeline for the goalie's return.

Who's hot: Callahan scored the winning goal in the 4-2 win against the Canucks on Saturday. He has three goals and two assists in five games … Hall has three goals and one assist in five games.

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