TAMPA -- Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall will make his return to the lineup Thursday when the team visits the Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Hall, out since Oct. 22 with a knee injury, has been cleared to play by the Edmonton medical staff.
"When they told me I'd be out four weeks you always think you can get back a little sooner," Hall said. "You never know what is going to happen with that process but I had a feeling I'd be back sooner than that. You never know how you're going to come back from an injury but I feel good enough to play, so it's time to play."
Hall said he'll be wearing a knee brace for the remainder of the season.
"It's fine," he said. "It's a little clunky but it feels good on my knee."
The addition of Hall to the lineup was welcome news to Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins.
"That gives us some more depth up front," Eakins said. "The thing I like about Hall early is that he is always in the fight. He competes hard and he wants to be the best player on the ice so there has been a number of nights where the players on the bench and the guys behind the bench were looking for No. 4 but he wasn't available to us."
Hall will skate on a line with Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov.
The Lightning, meanwhile, look to continue their dominance of the Western Conference as they complete a two-game homestand.
This will be the second consecutive opponent from the West for Tampa Bay; they beat the St. Louis Blues on Saturday to improve to 5-0-0 against the West.
"We look at the Western Conference, it's like getting that extra piece of candy on Halloween," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "You want it. You're full but you still want it because it tastes so good."
The Oilers, however, could be a difficult piece of candy for the Lightning to swallow, considering that all four of their wins have come against the Eastern Conference and they'll be bolstered by the return of Hall.
Here are how the lineups could look for the Oilers and Lightning:
Jordan Eberle - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Ales Hemsky
Taylor Hall- Sam Gagner - Nail Yakupov
Ryan Jones - Boyd Gordon - Mark Arcobello
Luke Gazdic - Ryan Smyth - Linus Omark
Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry
Nick Schultz - Taylor Fedun
Ladislav Smid - Philip Larsen
Scratched: Ryan Hamilton, Will Acton, Ben Eager
Injured: Justin Schultz (groin), David Perron (neck), Jesse Joensuu (back), Steve MacIntyre (knee)
Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Martin St. Louis
Teddy Purcell - Valtteri Filppula - Ryan Malone
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Brett Connolly
B.J. Crombeen - Nate Thompson - Richard Panik
Matthew Carle - Radko Gudas
Victor Hedman - Sami Salo
Eric Brewer - Mark Barberio
Scratched: Keith Aulie, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Andrej Sustr,
Injured: Tom Pyatt (collarbone)