Belanger returning to Oilers lineup

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

The Edmonton Oilers will get a welcome addition for Sunday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets as veteran forward Eric Belanger returns to the lineup.

Belanger suffered an injury to his foot Feb. 2 against Colorado and hasn't played since.

"It (foot) feels as good as it could a week later," Belanger said in a quote provided by the Oilers' official Twitter account. "I want to be back. It's a short season and we're battling."

The Oilers are tied for second in the Northwest Division after Saturday's 2-1 loss in Detroit.

"He's one of the better faceoff guys in the National Hockey League. That's a critical role for us," Edmonton coach Ralph Krueger said about what Belanger brings to the team.

Devan Dubnyk will start in goal after Nikolai Khabibulin made his season debut on Saturday. Dubnyk is expected to oppose Sergei Bobrovsky of the Blue Jackets.