Klefbom expected back for Oilers, who can’t rely on momentum from Game 6

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It wasn’t a problem Sunday in Game 6, but injuries to the Edmonton Oilers’ defense could still be a factor in their series with the Ducks.

Game 7 goes tonight in Anaheim. While Oscar Klefbom is expected to return after a one-game absence, Andrej Sekera will remain out, and that’s a fairly big deal by itself.

Among Oilers skaters, only Klefbom averaged more ice time than Sekera during the regular season. Edmonton’s top four was effectively Klefbom, Sekera, Kris Russell, and Adam Larsson.

Now the top four includes Matt Benning, the impressive 22-year-old rookie who logged 23:38 in Sunday’s 7-1 blowout victory.

Another young d-man, Darnell Nurse, also played significant minutes (19:25), with Eric Gryba and Griffin Reinhart seeing limited action.

“We were missing two real important guys,” Nurse said, per the Edmonton Sun. “When that happens, you’ve got to really defend by committee and I thought we were great. Not only the D corps, but our forwards played strong positionally and Cam (Talbot) as always played his game.”

It will be a tougher game tonight. The Ducks couldn’t be any worse than Sunday’s performance, and now they’re back home where they’ll have the last change.

“Momentum reestablishes itself in every game,” said Oilers coach Todd McLellan. “There is no carryover (from the last game), and we’ve experienced it from a positive side and a negative side.”

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