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Predators could get Hornqvist back vs. Oilers

by John Manasso

NASHVILLE -- Slowly but surely the Nashville Predators are regaining their health.

On Monday, right wing Patric Hornqvist, the team's top goal scorer in two of the three previous seasons, could return to the lineup when Nashville hosts the Edmonton Oilers.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz said he would speak to Hornqvist after the skate but that he that Hornqvist had a "good chance" of playing. Hornqvist said, "If he wants me, I'm ready to go."

Hornqvist has missed the last eight games with an upper body injury. His last game was on March 8 against these very same Oilers. Overall, he has missed 18 games this season with various injuries.

If Hornqvist does play, Nashville will have to make a roster move.

In addition, center Paul Gaustad, the team's top faceoff man and a key penalty killer, participated in the skate for the first time since he was injured on March 12. Gaustad has missed six games with an upper-body injury.

Trotz said he expected Gaustad to return later in the week. The Predators' next game is on Thursday at home against Phoenix.

Gaustad said he thought he needed a few more skates to be ready. He said he suffered a blindside hit in the Dallas game.

On Saturday, the Predators got defenseman Hal Gill back after a lengthy absence. Center Colin Wilson, still tied for the team lead in points despite missing the last six games, appears to be a longer-term issue. Defenseman Scott Hannan appears day-to-day with a lower-body issue but participated in the team's morning skate on Monday.

Sergei Kostitsyn - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat

Taylor Beck - David Legwand - Gabriel Bourque

Rich Clune - Nick Spaling - Brandon Yip

Matt Halischuk - Chris Mueller - Patric Hornqvist

Shea Weber - Roman Josi

Hal Gill - Kevin Klein

Victor Bartley - Jonathon Blum

Pekka Rinne

Chris Mason

Out: Bobby Butler, Ryan Ellis, Scott Hannan, Craig Smith

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