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Henrique returns for Edmonton, Hintz might for Dallas

Injury news front and centre as Stars and Oilers meet in Game 3
Edmonton Oilers’ Adam Henrique (19) celebrates a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during NHL action in Edmonton on Friday April 12, 2024. The veteran centre will be in the lineup tonight when his Oilers take on the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference final, head coach Kris Knoblauch said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Adam Henrique is set to join the action. Roope Hintz might be doing the same.

Henrique will return to the lineup Thursday when his Edmonton Oilers take on the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference final, head coach Kris Knoblauch said.

Dallas counterpart Pete DeBoer added Hintz is a game-time decision.

The Oilers and Stars are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series after Dallas picked up a 3-1 home victory Saturday. Edmonton took the opener 3-2 in double overtime.

Henrique suffered a suspected ankle injury in Game 5 of the first round against the Los Angeles Kings before briefly returning for Game 2 against the Vancouver Canucks.

“It’s more nerve-racking watching than playing,” the 34-year-old centre said Thursday morning. “But watching the guys, seeing everybody come together and push through and battle, it was certainly great to watch, and see the team continue to get better.

“You’re just itching to be a part of that.”

Acquired from the Anaheim Ducks ahead of the NHL trade deadline, Henrique has a goal and an assist in six playoff appearances this spring. Projected to play on a line with Warren Foegele and Derek Ryan, he combined to score 24 goals and 51 points in the regular season.

Oilers forward Ryan McLeod will be a healthy scratch.

Hintz, the Stars’ No. 1 centre, hasn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury in Game 4 of the second round against the Colorado Avalanche.

The 27-year-old, who took part in an optional morning skate Thursday, has two goals and four assists in 11 playoff games. He put up 30 goals and 65 points in 80 regular-season contests.

“He’s just an awesome player,” Stars centre Wyatt Johnston said. “He’s one of the best players in the in the world. You can’t really replace a guy like that.

“Being able to get him back, it would be huge.”

McLeod comes out of Edmonton’s lineup without a point in 14 playoff games.

The 24-year-old has been part of an Oilers’ penalty kill that has gone 20 straight short-handed opportunities without giving up a goal.

Knoblauch compared McLeod taking a seat to the “reset” the team gave goaltender Stuart Skinner in Games 4 and 5 of the Vancouver series.

“There’s a lot to like about his game,” said the coach. “A lot of it is from the penalty kill. He’s been contributing a lot there with his quickness, his reads. Five-on-five, he hasn’t been playing quite like he had been — especially around the middle part of the season.

“We’ve got a lot of players that are playing well. It’s been difficult to take anybody out of the lineup.”

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