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Oilers coach expects Nurse will play in Game 3 against Panthers

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The Edmonton Oilers expect Darnell Nurse to be in their lineup on Thursday for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch told media on Wednesday the defenceman "will be ready to play" against the Florida Panthers, who lead the best-of-seven National Hockey League playoff series 2-0, after missing most of Game 2 with an apparent hip injury.

Nurse left Monday's 4-1 loss in Sunrise, Fla., early in the first period following a hit along the boards from Panthers forward Evan Rodrigues.

He returned to the bench in the second period and played sparingly, logging just seven shifts amid 4:20 of ice time. Nurse typically plays about 20 minutes and 25 shifts per game.

Oilers star Connor McDavid said that, just like each player on the team, Nurse "wants to be out there," especially during significant games.

"It's special to play this time of year," McDavid told reporters.

"Everybody wants to be a part of that. Obviously, he's as tough as they come, and he wanted to be out there (in Game 2)."

Kane a question-mark

Knoblauch said forward Evander Kane, who's been dealing with a sports hernia injury throughout the playoffs, isn't a lock to be in the Oilers lineup on Thursday, telling media team staff "haven't decided yet" if he'll play.

Kane, who's scored four goals and four assists in 20 playoff games this season, played 10:33 on Monday after logging 15:22 in Saturday's Game 1.

He was limited to just 4:39 in ice time during the Oilers' Game 6 series-clinching win over the Dallas Stars after playing between 15 and 20 minutes in most playoff games before it. 

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