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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.

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