EDMONTON, AB - It'll be a team effort on the blueline in the absence of a big contributor.
The Oilers were handed some heavy injury news following their 2-1 shootout victory the night prior over the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place. Before the Oilers players took to the ice for Friday's morning practice, the club announced that defencemen Darnell Nurse andSlater Koekkoek were being placed on Injured Reserve with injuries sustained in Thursday's victory.
Head Coach Dave Tippett revealed post-practice that Nurse will miss two-to-three weeks with a broken finger he sustained blocking a shot late in Thursday's contest. Koekkoek left the match with a lower-body injury in the middle frame and is expected to be on the shelf for three-to-four weeks.
Additionally, Mike Smith was transferred to Long-Term Injured Reserve with a lower-body injury that's impacted the goaltender since leaving during the first period of a 6-5 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 19. The veteran is "at best" considered week-to-week in his recovery after he departed the club's previous five-game road trip early to return to Edmonton and be re-evaluated.
The loss of a leading left shot in Nurse is a big blow to the blueline, with the Hamilton, Ont. product eating up 31:21 of ice time for the Oilers on Thursday and averaging a team-high 26:06 TOI this season.
Video: PRACTICE | Injury Updates