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At the Rink blog

Belanger, Whitney draw back in for Oilers

Monday, 04.22.2013 / 2:08 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Belanger, Whitney draw back in for Oilers

Eric Belanger, who has missed the past 13 games with a strained groin muscle, will return to the lineup Monday when the Edmonton Oilers host the Anaheim Ducks.

He has three assists in 23 games, but has won 54.1-percent of his faceoffs, second on the team among players to have taken more than 300 draws.

"I feel like I'm ready to go and Ralph [Krueger, coach] told me this morning he wants me to play," Belanger said. "I'm excited to get back in."

Belanger will replace Magnus Paajarvi in the lineup. The third-year forward will sit out with a bruised foot.

Also returning to the Oilers' lineup is defenseman Ryan Whitney, who will replace Mark Fistric. It will be his first game in more than a week; he's been a healthy scratch the past three games.

"I'm excited to play again," Whitney said. "It's no fun sitting out. I'm looking forward to it. I want to play well."

The Oilers had an optional morning skate, so the exact nature of their lineup won't be known until closer to game time.

Quote of the Day

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks