Left wing Kristian Huselius made his season debut in Edmonton on Friday. It was a long road back from a frustrating injury suffered over the summer while lifting weights in his native Sweden.
"It was nice to be out there," Huselius said. "It's hard. It's going to take some time to get up to speed."
Huselius wasn't expecting to return until next week, likely Tuesday in Montreal, and he said he hadn't taken a full practice with the club before Friday's game.
But coach Scott Arniel leaned on him hard in recent days, coercing him to play. He almost played on Thursday at Calgary but waited one extra day instead.
He played 19 minutes, 27 seconds and had a minus-2 rating.
Huselius has missed 68 of the Blue Jackets' last 90 games. He suffered a high ankle sprain early last season, a groin injury at midseason and a hip injury late in the season that required offseason surgery.
Then this summer, he tore his pectoral muscle while lifting weights, requiring surgery and a long rehab.