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No Hall for Oilers against Wild

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall will not play Sunday against the Minnesota Wild, according to Oilers coach Ralph Krueger.

Hall, who injured his hamstring Friday night against the St. Louis Blues, is officially listed as day-to-day, but with the Oilers in the midst of a nine-game, 16-day road trip, Krueger said he'd rather give Hall some extra time off in order to avoid a more long-term injury.

"Taylor is still feeling a strain that we want to err to the cautious side," Krueger said. "This type of injury, we can give him four days of rest as opposed to forcing him in today. He's day-to-day but we expect him back very soon."

Hall's absence eliminates one major storyline heading into the important Northwest Division matchup with the Wild: Hall's first game against Minnesota since his major penalty Feb. 21 for kneeing Cal Clutterbuck in the dying minutes of a 3-1 Wild victory at Rexall Place.

Hall was suspended two games by the NHL. Clutterbuck, who sustained a bruised thigh on the hit, has not played since, though he did skate Sunday morning for the first time since the incident.

"He did hit the ice today, so that's progress," Wild coach Mike Yeo said.

Without both Hall and Clutterbuck in the lineup, Sunday's game remains a big one in the standings for both teams. Edmonton trails Minnesota by two points in the division and could pull even with a regulation victory.

Those victories have been few and far between in St. Paul however -- the Wild have won 18 of 19 against the Oilers at Xcel Energy Center, outscoring Edmonton 65-30 over that stretch. The Wild have needed overtime or a shootout three times in those 18 wins.

"I know we're not looking at what's happened in previous years and I'm pretty sure that they're not either," Yeo said.

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