Florida Panthers v Edmonton Oilers

SUNRISE, FL – The Edmonton Oilers will be making their final roster decisions for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final closer to puck drop on Thursday night, says Head Coach Kris Knoblauch.

"You're going to have to wait and find out," the bench boss said during his pre-game media availability.

Based on Knoblauch's comments following Wednesday's practice at Rogers Place, the Oilers are expected to have Darnell Nurse in the lineup despite their defenceman being limited to only 4:20 of ice time in his team's 4-1 defeat in Game 2 on Monday.

Ben Gleason was a fill-in for Nurse on the second defensive pairing next to Vincent Desharnais at yesterday's practice after Nurse was a non-participant during the skate before Coach Knoblauch said that he expects him to be ready to play when the Stanley Cup Final returns to Oil Country on Thursday night.

"For him not to play a game, he needs a lot to be sidelined," Desharnais said. "But he's a great leader for us on and off the ice. He's going to eat some big minutes. He's great on the PK. He's going to eat some pucks. He's not afraid to sacrifice, but hopefully, he'll be good to play tonight.

Kris speaks to the media ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final

The same can't be said about forward Evander Kane, who's a bigger doubt for the Oilers as he continues to try and fight his way through a sports hernia injury that's hampered him during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and for much of the 2023-24 regular season.

"That's most of the conversations we're having with our medical staff, our doctor [T.D. Forss]," Knoblauch said. "They're telling us exactly what's going on. Is it going to get worse? Can it get better? We take that information and then we think about if he's running at 75 percent, do we have another guy who's 100 percent? And then we make those decisions. But that information, the most important is from the medical staff. They lead us to making the right decision."

In his absence, Ryan McLeod assumed the left-wing spot of the second line with Leon Draisaitl and Dylan Holloway, while on the fourth line, centre Derek Ryan is anticipated to get his first run-out in the Stanley Cup Final in between Warren Foegele and Corey Perry.

Brett speaks to the media ahead of Game 3 vs. the Panthers

View the Oilers morning skate lines ahead of Game 3 vs. Florida:

Nugent-Hopkins - McDavid - Hyman
McLeod - Draisaitl - Holloway
Janmark - Henrique - Brown
Foegele - Ryan - Perry

Ekholm - Bouchard
Nurse - Desharnais
Kulak - Broberg