EDMONTON, AB – No pain, no Kane.

Playing through the bumps and bruises of a long NHL season is just a regular occurrence during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Oilers forward Evander Kane has been fighting to get himself ready for Game 1 of Edmonton’s first-round series with Los Angeles.

Kane was back on the ice as a full participant for the Oilers on the fourth line and second-unit power play during Sunday’s practice at Rogers Place, but revealed after the skate that he’s been dealing with a sports hernia injury that could still keep him out of the lineup for Game 1 against the Kings on Monday.

“Not sure,” Kane said of his status for Game 1. “It's nice to finally get a little bit of rest. I've been dealing with a sports hernia kind of all year. It was just getting worse and worse, so I thought it would be good to take a week off for the playoffs and see how I feel.”

The 32-year-old mentioned he felt the injury flare up following Edmonton’s last visit to Vancouver on April 13 and that he took the last week to rest up in hopes of being ready for Game 1. While Head Coach Kris Knoblauch anticipates that Kane will be in the lineup on Monday, the bench boss reiterated they have plenty of able bodies who are playing well right now and have the potential to fill in for the winger on one of the top three lines.

"He's been on the ice for a while now and we want to make sure that he's ready to go," Knoblauch said. "We've got a lot of guys who are playing well. We're going to be taking somebody out, which is going to be tough, but when we have Evander and he's able to play and he's healthy, we want him in the lineup."

Evander addresses his status for Game 1 after Sunday's team skate

Kane produced 24 points (12 goals) in the first 35 games of the ’23-24 season, but his production went down over the second half with only 20 points (10 goals) over the final 45 contests. His 44 points in 77 games rank eighth on the Oilers, while his 22 goals were the fourth-most on the team.

The winger said he’s had to learn to manage the injury this season, and the time off can go a long way after experiencing first-hand just how impactful the injury can be on playing his physical and in-your-face brand of hockey that was tailormade for the NHL playoffs. Kane led the entire NHL in goals during the '21-22 playoff campaign with 13 before scoring twice in 12 playoff games last season.

“It doesn't affect my shoulder or my upper body to a degree,” he said. “Anybody who's had that type of injury understands that it's more the skating, quickness, agility and quick movements that can really affect you. I wasn't aware of that until I dealt with it, so for me, it's something I was just kind of learning to deal with.”

One of the players who could take on a greater role in Kane's absence is Dylan Holloway, who's scored three goals in six games coming into the playoffs and was on the third line with Corey Perry and Ryan McLeod during Sunday's skate – a regular spot for the young forward since his recall from the Bakersfield Condors in early April.

Kris talks to the media following Sunday's practice at Rogers Place

Adam Henrique was on the top line alongside Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman, while the second line consisted of Leon Draisaitl in between Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Warren Foegele to complete the top-three lines for the Oilers that could change before Monday's Game 1 if Kane is confirmed to be in the lineup for Game 1.

"Dylan's been playing outstanding with his energy, his tenacity and being able to break up plays with his forechecking and contributing a little bit offensively," Knoblauch said. "That's a nice addition for our team right now, and where the lines are going to be I'm not sure.

"Kaner's a competitor – a guy that you want in the playoffs and a physical presence. To score 20-some goals though not being 100 percent through all the year, how are we not going use that to our advantage? We'll be mixing and matching a little bit, but right now, we're just being cautious with Evander having the amount of time he's had off.

"But we'll see if he's going to play."