Oilers expected to sit Puljujarvi after ugly loss

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Busy news day in Edmonton ahead of tonight’s contest against Carolina.

First, the lineup stuff — Jesse Puljujarvi, the No. 4 overall pick at this year’s draft, looks to be a healthy scratch following Sunday’s 6-2 home loss to the Sabres.

The decision comes after Puljujarvi scored in his NHL debut — a 7-4 win over the Flames — but appeared to take a step back in the following two contests. He played just 7:26 in Friday’s 5-3 win over Calgary, and went minus-1 with a giveaway in just over 12 minutes of action on Sunday (though he did have a relatively solid night in terms of possession metrics.)

“He’s going through a cultural adjustment as much as he’s going through a hockey adjustment,” head coach Todd McLellan said of Puljujarvi, per CHED 630 radio. “At 18, that’s a tough thing, so we want to keep him in a central environment where he’s familiar with his surroundings, his coaching staff and with his teammates.

“If he continues to develop and evolves and we feel this is the right spot for him, he’ll stay here. If not, we have the luxury of him playing some games at the American League level.”

Anton Slepyshev, who hasn’t played since the season opener, will draw in for Puljujarvi on a line with Patrick Maroon and Leon Draisaitl. Defenseman Mark Fayne, who hasn’t played this year, will come in and replace Eric Gryba.

More: ‘We can’t handle prosperity yet’ — McLellan rips Oilers after ugly loss to Sabres

In other Oiler news, McLellan updated the statuses of injured forwards Drake Caggiula (hip), Matt Hendricks (lower body) and Iiro Pakarinen (knee).

With Gustavsson out, the Oilers will give Cam Talbot another start and Laurent Brossoit, recalled from AHL Bakersfield, will serve as the backup.