Milan Michalek, of the Czech Republic,

Late gift: Milan Michalek expected to return Tuesday

If depressing concussion news was a theme a couple weeks ago, promising comebacks are starting to take over as 2012 approaches. You can watch one uplifting story in David Perron with St. Louis on Versus right now, but an even bigger return looks likely for Tuesday. The Ottawa Senators are preparing to welcome their top goal scorer back on Dec. 27 as Milan Michalek is expected to be in the lineup.

Joe already pointed out that Kyle Turris’ addition benefited Ottawa in shaking off Peter Regin, but it sounds like it will also allow the team to load up on its top line. Michalek is likely to join Daniel Alfredsson on the wings with Jason Spezza in the middle.

That should give Michalek every chance to match Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux and Perron as players who scored a goal in their first games back from concussion issues. Merely having in in the mix again is likely good enough for the Senators, though.

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.