Oilers' Smyth plays with brace on thumb

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers got back the
heart and soul of their team Thursday, activating left wing
Ryan Smyth from injured reserve.

Drafted sixth overall in 1994, Smyth suffered a fractured right
thumb in a 4-0 loss to Columbus on December 2 and missed
Edmonton's next 10 games. The Oilers went 5-5-0 without their
long-time leader.

Smyth had an impressive return to Edmonton's lineup, scoring a
power-play goal in a 7-4 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night.
The veteran's hand movement was limited due to a protective
brace he was wearing.

"I'm restricted with the brace that I've got and there were a
few things that I wish I had back," he said. "But I'm not going
to fault anything. It's my choice to play and you have to play
through those kinds of things."

In 25 games prior to the injury, Smyth registered 16 goals and
six assists. The 30-year-old Alberta native has collected 251
tallies -- including seven 20-goal campaigns -- and 268 assists in
743 career contests.