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Nugent-Hopkins back for Oilers against Preds

Mar 25, 2013, 5:24 PM EDT

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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Getty Images

A desperate Oilers team will have center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins back in the lineup tonight in Nashville.

Nugent-Hopkins has missed the last two games with strep throat.

“Feeling strong and feeling like my energy’s back,” he said, per NHL.com.

Edmonton is coming off a 3-0 loss to St. Louis on Saturday. It was the third time the Oilers, who feature no shortage of talented forwards, have been blanked in March.

Nugent-Hopkins, 19, is having a tough sophomore season. The first overall pick in the 2011 draft has just two goals and nine assists in 27 games.

Defenseman (and prime trade candidate) Ryan Whitney will be a healthy scratch tonight.

The Oilers are 13th in the Western Conference, four points back of eighth-place Dallas.

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