Ben Eager, a 29-year-old veteran NHL forward that Edmonton assigned to Oklahoma City last week, chipped in an assist in his Barons debut Tuesday night.
A 6-foot-2, 240-pound bruiser, Eager was a member of the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship team. A first-round pick in 2002, Eager has played in 400 NHL games, including 14 this season with the Oilers.
“It was nice to be a part of things, a good opportunity to play with a couple of good players (Toni Rajala and Anton Lander),” Eager said. “Unfortunately, we didn't get the two (standings) points but we played pretty well.”
LANDER RETURNS, SCORES A GOAL
Forward Anton Lander scored a goal in his first game since he suffered a broken foot six weeks ago with Edmonton. The original estimate was he would be out six to eight weeks. He returned in six.
“It actually went the best we could hope for,” Lander said. “I've been with the team here three or four times. It feels good to be back.”
POWER PLAY IN A SLUMP
The Barons' power play leads the AHL, but that's misleading since 40 of the 54 power play goals were scored when Edmonton's young stars played in Oklahoma City.
When Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall were leading the power play, the Barons were 26.2 percent with the man advantage.
In 25 games since the Fab Four returned to Edmonton, the Barons' power play has been 13.6 percent, including 7.8 percent the past seven games (2-for-26).
“Losing (Brett) Clark (to the Minnesota Wild), he was the quarterback of the power play,” said coach Todd Nelson. “That's a big shoe to fill. It's putting a lot of pressure on our young defensemen to step up. I've always said you can't put a price on experience.”
The Barons host Houston on Friday night, then take a four-game road trip. ... Defenseman Kendall McFaull, signed out of the Western Hockey League on Monday, was a healthy scratch. McFaull isn't a prime prospect but has some size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) and has four years WHL experience.