Connor McDavid close to returning, Ethan Bear to get more PP time as Edmonton Oilers hit the road

The NHL’s most explosive offensive player has a simple goal for when he returns from a quad injury.

“Just come into the lineup and try not to mess things up,” said Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid after Saturday’s practice, drawing laughter in the midst of his media scrum.

McDavid, who has missed the last six games, was back on the Oilers first power play unit at practice. That’s a good indication he’ll play Sunday in Los Angeles, though the Oilers aren’t confirming anything.

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“We’ll decide that in the morning. He’s anxious to play. Whether he gets the okay or not from the doctors, we’ll see in the morning,” said head coach Dave Tippett.

“We’ll see. I’ve been skating a lot. It feels pretty good,” added McDavid.

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Joining McDavid on the Oilers top power play unit was defenceman Ethan Bear. With Oscar Klefbom injured, Darnell Nurse has been the point man. While Nurse did also skate with the top unit on Saturday, Bear went first in the rotation.

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“His game has evolved. You gotta be careful with young players early. He’s really taken a big bite for us this year, a little bit of secondary power play stuff. With Klef out, we’ve talked about some different scenarios,

“Doc has done it before when Klef was out last year, but we didn’t have Bearsy. It’s an opportunity for Bearsy to jump in and get a little more, and we’ll see where it goes,” said Tippett.

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“I’m excited. I’m right-handed, so maybe I can pose a one-timer threat. At the same time, I just have to play my game. If I see a good land, I’m going to take the shot. If not, I’ll try to open some areas for the other guys to get some speed and get their chances as well,” said Bear.

The Oilers start a three-game road trip Sunday in Los Angeles. Catch the game on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6 p.m. The game will start at 8 p.m.

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