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McDavid will not play for Oilers against Wild

Center to miss sixth straight game with left quad injury

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Connor McDavid will not return to the Edmonton Oilers lineup against the Minnesota Wild at Rogers Place on Friday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-WI, FS-N+, NHL.TV).

The center, fourth in the NHL with 81 points (30 goals, 51 assists) in 55 games, practiced Thursday and skated Friday morning, but will miss his sixth straight game because of a left quad muscle injury sustained Feb. 8.

"He skated early this morning again and then skated with our group this morning. He won't play tonight," coach Dave Tippett said. "He'll practice before we leave on the trip tomorrow and we'll see where he is tomorrow morning. He's still, as yesterday, day-to-day. He comes in tomorrow and goes through another work day ... then we'll see where we are tomorrow."

McDavid rejoined the Oilers on Wednesday after traveling to Toronto to work with his doctors during Edmonton's three-game road trip last week. The injury was expected to keep McDavid out 2-3 weeks; Saturday would be two weeks since the injury occurred.

"We're taking it day by day," McDavid said Thursday. "We'll see. I think the plan was just to go out and see how I felt this morning. I felt good. We knew practice wouldn't be too hard or too physical.

"You just don't want to feel [pain] anymore. It's been slowly going away. We're getting to the point where I'm not feeling it anymore."

Edmonton (32-21-7) is 3-1-1 in the five games McDavid has missed. The Oilers trail the Vegas Golden Knights by one point for first place in the Pacific Division and lead the Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes by three points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Oilers begin a three-game road trip at the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday and are without defenseman Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), and forwards James Neal (foot) and Zack Kassian (suspended).

"I don't think it surprised me," general manager Ken Holland said of Edmonton's performance without McDavid. "I think our team all year long, the coaching staff, Dave Tippett, has instilled ... they come to work every day, they check, they compete. Guys dig in, and obviously with Connor out, it was a great opportunity. Leon [Draisaitl] stepped up, and [Ryan Nugent-Hopkins] and that line with [Kailer Yamamoto] ... I'm not surprised.

"When you get injures, it's an opportunity for other people. They're waiting for their chance to play more minutes and have a bigger role. We thought we had good depth. We've talked about [Yamamoto] coming up, the young players are playing good. I think we've got better depth than I think maybe a lot of people thought."

McDavid praised his teammates for the way they played without him.

"We say it every day," the Oilers captain said. "I preach almost every day how good the guys are in here on and off the ice, and now everyone is getting to see it. They're getting the credit they deserve. They've been so good, and I'm looking forward to getting back out there with them."

NHL.com independent correspondent Derek Van Diest contributed to this report

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