The Edmonton Oilers will be without Sam Gagner because of an ankle injury on Friday, as they face a banged-up and desperate Detroit Red Wings team.
Anton Lander will take the 24-year-old center’s spot between Taylor Hall and David Perron, according to Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.
It’s been an up-and-down season for Gagner, who only has seven goals after posting at least 13 through the first six seasons of his career, including the abbreviated 2012-13 campaign. Gagner’s season started off rocky thanks to a high-sticking infraction by Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian. While plus/minus is a derided stat, it can occasionally at least depict a tough season, and that seems valid enough with Gagner’s -20 mark (especially since his offensive numbers leave a lot to be desired).
Lander, 22, gets a great chance to post his first point of the season between those two potent Oilers wingers. He’s gone 12 games without a goal or an assist so far in 2013-14.