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Darnell Nurse Suspended One Game For Headbutt

Nurse will sit Game 6 for headbutting LA’s Phillip Danault in Game 5

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Things just got a bit tougher for the Oilers in tomorrow’s game 6 versus LA.

Down 3-2 in the series, they’re headed to LA to try and stave off the Kings from advancing. They’ll have to win game 6 without their top minute-munching defenceman.

Darnell Nurse will be forced to sit game 6 for headbutting Phillip Danault. The infraction occurred with seconds remaining in the second period. Nurse was not called for a penalty on the play, but was unable to escape supplemental discipline.

The loss of Nurse will cut Edmonton’s defence by quite a bit next game. The left side will likely be comprised of a mixture of Brett Kulak, Kris Russell and Duncan Keith. Nurse’s absence could be an especially bad omen for the Oilers defence; it would likely be Duncan Keith who would eat most of Nurse’s minutes in his absence. After the kind of outing he had last night, I don’t think I’d dress Keith in another game this season.

There’s a chance that Woodcroft goes with an 11/7 setup, bringing Philip Broberg into the lineup in order to spread some of those minutes out. We’ll know more tomorrow, but the loss of Nurse is a substantial one for an Oilers club that’s already on the ropes.