Oilers defenceman Alex Petrovic placed in concussion protocol

Edmonton Oilers defencemen Alex Petrovic was forced to leave the game against the San Jose Sharks after taking a hard hit into the boards from Timo Meier.

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Alex Petrovic has been placed in concussion protocol and will miss Thursday’s game against his former team, the Florida Panthers.

The Oilers acquired Petrovic in a trade with the Panthers on Dec. 30.

Petrovic was injured in Tuesday’s 7-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Mid-way through the second period, Sharks forward Timo Meier hit Petrovic from behind while forechecking in the Oilers end. Petrovic looked stunned on the play, went to the dressing room and did not return.

Meier didn’t get a penalty for the hit. Head coach Ken Hitchcock said the 26-year-old “feels better today,” when announcing Petrovic would miss Thursday’s game.

Petrovic joins two other Oilers defencemen on the sidelines with an injury. Oscar Klefbom was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 12 with a hand injury, while Andrej Sekera has yet to play this season due to an Achilles injury.

Matt Benning is expected to take Petrovic’s spot in the lineup against the Panthers. Petrovic has one assist in five games with the Oilers.

In other Oilers news, Hitchcock said the team is targeting Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes for rookie forward Kailer Yamamoto to return from injury. Yamamoto has been out of the lineup since the end of December with an upper-body injury.

The 19-year-old has split time between the Oilers and AHL’s Bakersfield Condors this season. In 13 NHL games, the 2017 first-rounder has one goal and one assist.

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