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Oilers without injured forward Hall against Wild

by Derek Van Diest /

WILD (20-20-6) at OILERS (12-26-9)


EDMONTON -- A leg injury sustained in practice Monday will keep Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall out of the lineup Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.

Hall was hit in the leg with a shot, forcing him off the ice early. He was not made available to the media Tuesday.

"Yesterday as you all know, he got a shot in the leg and it didn't react like we wanted it to overnight and so he's going through further testing today," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. "As of right now, yes, I guess [it is a bruise]."

Benoit Pouliot, who has scored seven goals and one assist in nine games since returning from a broken foot, will replace Hall on the Oilers' top line.

"It seemed like a natural fit, having to juggle the lines a little bit," Nelson said. "Hopefully, it works out."

Edmonton (12-26-9) is on a two-game win streak and has not won three consecutive games since winning four in a row from Oct. 20 to Oct. 27.

Since taking over the coaching duties exclusively, Nelson is 5-4-2. Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish accompanied Nelson during a five-game transition period after coach Dallas Eakins was fired on Dec. 15.

"I want to see our team just get better every day," Nelson said. "I like the last couple of days, today's [morning] skate was good, the last practice was good. I think we're once again moving in the right direction. From a win-loss perspective, I don't think a whole lot about that. I just want to see the team play better."

Goaltender Viktor Fasth will start for Edmonton looking for his first win at home this season.

Goalie Devan Dubnyk will start for the Wild (20-20-6). He has three wins against the Oilers this season (3-0-0), all coming with the Arizona Coyotes.

The former Oilers goaltender was traded from the Coyotes to the Wild on Jan. 14 for a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"I thought that was it for the year [against Edmonton] playing in Arizona," Dubnyk said. "Now I get a chance to go against them three more times. It'll be a tough challenge, it looks like the guys over there have been playing pretty well as of late. We've been good here since I showed up, so we just want to continue to the things that we've been doing and hopefully we'll have some success here."

Minnesota is on a two-game losing streak but earned at least a point in three of four games prior to the NHL All-Star break.

Center Mikael Granlund returns to the Wild lineup after missing the past 13 games with a wrist injury.

"You would expect probably both teams execution-wise to be not be completely sharp right off the hop," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "I think you're going to see the team that is most successful by how quickly they can get to their game. That's the big thing for me."

Here are the projected lineups:


Zach PariseMikael Granlund - Thomas Vanek

Jason ZuckerMikko KoivuJason Pominville

Matt CookeKyle BrodziakJustin Fontaine

Ryan CarterCharlie CoyleNino Niederreiter

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Jared Spurgeon - Marco Scandella

Nate Prosser - Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Niklas Backstrom

Scratched: Erik Haula, Stu Bickel

Injured: Keith Ballard (concussion)


Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov - Derek RoyTeddy Purcell

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Rob Klinkhammer

Matt Fraser - Anton LanderLuke Gazdic

Jeff Petry - Andrew Ference

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Nikita Nikitin - Mark Fayne

Viktor Fasth

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Keith Aulie

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (lacerated spleen), Taylor Hall (leg)

Status report: Granlund replaces Haula in the Wild lineup. Prior to being injured against the Winnipeg Jets, Granlund scored four goals and 11 assists in 32 games. With Hall out of the lineup for Edmonton, Gazdic will dress for the first time in four games. Gazdic has been a healthy scratch in seven of the Oilers' past eight games.

Who's hot: Parise is on a four-game scoring streak with five goals in that span. Pouliot has six goals in his past six games. Nugent-Hopkins has a goal and three assists in his past four games.

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