Adam Henrique EDM playing status GM3 TUNE IN

EDMONTON -- Adam Henrique will return to the lineup for the Edmonton Oilers against the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final at Rogers Place on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; CBC, TVAS, SN, TNT, truTV, MAX).

The forward has missed the past seven games with a lower-body injury sustained during a series-clinching win in Game 5 against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round.

Henrique did not play against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of the second round before playing 11:38 in Game 2. He missed the final five games of that series, won by Edmonton in seven games, and the first two games against the Stars.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

"I'm certainly looking forward to getting back in the lineup and just want to be able to try and be a difference maker for the team," Henrique said. "I think those first few shifts, you want to just kind of get back into the rhythm, the flow of the game. Come out, play a simple, hard game and just get involved right away.

"And then from there, I think you just settle in, you know? It's like riding a bike, just get back on there and go. I've been looking forward to getting back in the lineup for a little bit."

Henrique had 51 points (24 goals, 27 assists) in 82 regular-season games, including nine points (six goals, three assists) in 22 games after he was acquired by the Oilers in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on March 6. He averaged 55 seconds of short-handed ice time per game and won 55.2 percent of his face-offs (95-of-172) during the regular season after the trade.

"He touches a lot of aspects of the game," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said of Henrique. "The penalty kill, even strength, face-offs he helps a lot. Definitely somebody that we've missed."

Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch echoed McDavid's comments on Henrique and mentioned he was close to returning earlier in the series.

"I would say he was close, maybe not 100 percent, but I'm sure if it was the Stanley Cup Final, Game 7, we would have had him in earlier," Knoblauch said. "But I think with his experience, his smarts, that he will help us tonight.

"When Adam was available and felt that he was 100 percent, then we want him in the lineup. He's a very important player for us, he can kill penalties, he can be on the power play and he's a really good 5-on-5 player."

Henrique will replace forward Ryan McLeod, who does not have a point in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games while centering the third line. McLeod has a total of 15 shots on goal and is averaging 13:47 of ice time per game. He has played on the penalty kill, which has not given up a power-play goal in its past six games and has killed off 21 straight chances.

"I think this time of year, it's the big-picture thing everybody looks at, and I think everybody understands that," Henrique said. "Everybody goes through ups and downs, and I think you just have to have that big-picture mentality. Everybody's going to be called upon at some time or the other, and everybody expects the other guy to step up and whoever's in or out of the lineup, I think we have all the confidence in every single guy here."

Edmonton went 4-3 in the seven games without Henrique in the lineup.

"I guess it was just a day-to-day kind of thing mentally too," Henrique said. "I think mentally probably harder than physically with certain things and just not being able to be out there to help. It's more nerve-wracking watching than playing and I certainly learned a lot about that. But watching the guys, seeing everybody kind of come together and push through and battle, it was certainly great to watch and see the team continue to get better.

"And you're just itching to be a part of that, so it's nice to be back."