Connor McDavid back as NHL season resumes post-all-star break

A 12-game schedule Tuesday night marks the unofficial start to the second half of the NHL season, with five Canadian teams in action including the Oilers, who welcome back standout rookie Connor McDavid from a 37-game absence.

Canadiens, Senators, Leafs, Jets and Oilers in action

Oilers rookie centre Connor McDavid takes a break during Monday's practice in Edmonton ahead of Tuesday's matchup against the visiting Blue Jackets. The 19-year-old will play his first game since breaking his left collarbone in an awkward end-boards collision in a Nov. 3 game against Philadelphia. McDavid, who has five goals and 12 points in 13 games this season, missed 37 contests. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

The return of standout rookie Connor McDavid to the Oilers lineup Tuesday against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets (9 p.m. ET) has dominated the hockey conversation in Edmonton the past 24 hours.

The 19-year-old centre missed 37 games after requiring surgery for a broken left collarbone sustained in an awkward end-boards collision in a Nov. 3 game against Philadelphia.

McDavid, who has five goals and 12 points in 13 games this season, is expected to start the game on a line with Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot.

Adam Clendening will also suit up for Edmonton for the first time since the Oilers claimed him off waivers from Anaheim a week ago, while fellow blue-liner Justin Schultz (illness) is listed as doubtful.

A 12-game schedule marks the unofficial start to the second half of the NHL season, with Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg the other Canadian teams in action.

Habs' Price remains out

In Philadelphia, where the hometown Flyers will play host to winless-in-two Montreal, Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien avoided the axe over the all-star break despite his team's 5-18-1 slide. Goalie Carey Price remains out with a lower-body injury for at least two more weeks. Defenceman Tom Gilbert returns to the Habs lineup. An upper-body injury kept him out of the lineup since Dec. 22.

Methot questionable

The Ottawa Senators, who have lost three of their past four to drop three points out of a wild-card playoff spot, visit Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. While Ottawa remains without injured forwards Milan Michalek, Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris, head coach Dave Cameron is hopeful of defenceman Marc Methot's return to the lineup against the unbeaten-in-three Penguins. The 30-year-old Ottawa native will be a game-time decision as he works his way back from a lower-body injury. In 42 games, Methot has six points, 56 blocks and 68 hits.

Reim time in Beantown

Several Toronto Maple Leafs, including forwards P.A. Parenteau, Daniel Winnik and others, along with goalie James Reimer, could raise their stock as the NHL's Feb. 29 trade deadline approaches. Reimer gets the nod in Boston for his 200th NHL game, where the Bruins are 11-12-2 this season. Reimer is becoming head coach Mike Babcock's go-to guy in net, sporting a 2.10 GAA and .932 save percentage in 24 games. But since the Leafs' seven-game playoff loss to Boston in 2013, Reimer has lost all four of his starts versus the Bruins (0-2-2) with a .959 save percentage.

Offensive boost?

The Winnipeg Jets, who scored one goal in four of five outings before the break, are expected to get reinforcements in the form of forwards Mathieu Perreault and Adam Lowry against visiting Dallas. Perreault missed Winnipeg's 5-2 win over Arizona on Jan. 26 with a lower-body injury while Lowry was out five contests with an upper-body ailment. They were full participants at Monday's practice and will try to help the 22-24-3 Jets attempt their way out of the Central Division basement.


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