In the past, when Sam Gagner’s game has veered off track, he has been able to throw a punch or a big hit, which has set him back on course.

That was before Zack Kassian used his stick to rearrange his jaw in a pre-season game between the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.

“It’s something I like to do when things aren’t going well. When I’m on the bench and Luke (Gazdic) has a big fight or there’s a big hit, it gives you a lift — and individually it does as well if you’re able to do it,” he said after practice on Sunday.

“It’s tough not being able to do it, but I just have to find other ways of contributing every night. I can still get to the net, still create chances. Still play hard in my d-zone — and that has to be my focus.”

Gagner will meet with the medical staff this week and is hopeful that the next x-ray shows the bone has fused to the point where he can remove the shield he’s been wearing since returning to the lineup.

Hit on Sept. 21, Gagner lost four teeth and required a plate and six screws to repair the damage. He was told after the surgery that it would take 12 weeks for the bone to heal to the point where he could go out and play the game unimpeded.