The Oilers Twitter feed announced his scratch just a few minutes ago:
"Nuge will not play tonight. He's sore. We expect to see him back in the lineup Saturday. It's short-term for sure." - Coach Krueger on RNH— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 6, 2013
Hopkins took a hit late against Vancouver that has him reeling. "Sore" is a strange descriptor, but the Oilers don't have the best history with injury reporting, so "sore" could mean a variety of ailments.
Hopkins, Horcoff and Belanger in the press box leaves the Oilers with one of the worst down-the-middle lineups in a very long time. Coach Krueger could try to match Gagner against Roy and hope for the best, but no matter how he slices it, two of his lines may be in deep trouble in this one. Mark Arcobello does have the advantage of familiarity with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and he's been a very good faceoff man in the AHL.
Ryan Smyth in the middle moves Darcy Hordichuk to the third line, but look for Nail Yakupov, Magnus Paajarvi and Taylor Hall to double-shift for all but 2-4 minutes of ES time in this one.