"We can't expect to score five or six goals a game," Lightning center Steven Stamkos told NHL.com. "You take the run as long as possible, it was fun, but you realize this League is very tight checking and it's tough to score goals. We maybe fell victim of expecting to score goals."
Simmonds has missed the past two games since sustaining a concussion when he was elbowed in the face by Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine during a game Feb. 1. Erskine was suspended three games for the hit.
Simmonds missed Saturday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes and Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but practiced with the team Wednesday, wearing a yellow (non-contact) jersey.
"I feel pretty good," Simmonds said after Wednesday's skate. "I feel good today especially."
PHILADELPHIA -- The Florida Panthers will have two new faces in the lineup, and one very familiar one sitting out.
Veteran forward Alex Kovalev will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season, with Jack Skille replacing him in the lineup.
Kovalev, 39, had a goal and two assists opening night, but has one goal since then.
"We're always looking to experiment and try different things, and every day is a different day," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "Tonight we'll get a look at what our options are game time and go from there."
Ryan Callahan was expected to miss 10-14 days with a shoulder injury, but it appears he’ll be back in the New York Rangers' lineup after just nine days.
The team’s captain was on the ice in Greenburgh, N.Y., Thursday morning as a full participant when the Rangers prepared to face the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden.
The outlook seems less promising for defenseman Dan Girardi, who was an unexpected scratch Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils with an undisclosed injury. Girardi left practice early and along with Callahan, didn’t speak to the media afterward.
Rangers coach John Tortorella will address reporters about an hour before the game at MSG.
Matteau will suit up Thursday against the Lightning, his sixth game with the club this season, meaning his entry-level contract will kick in. If Matteau didn't play in a sixth game with the Devils this season, the organization would save a year on his entry-level deal.
In five games with New Jersey, Matteau didn't record a point, sported a plus-one rating and has averaged 8:28 in ice time. He did open his last two games on the team's top line alongside center Travis Zajac and right wing Ilya Kovalchuk while Adam Henrique was recovering from thumb surgery, but was eventually moved to the fourth unit.
Ehrhoff missed Buffalo's game in Ottawa on Tuesday with a muscle strain. Adam Pardy was recalled from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League and made his Sabres debut against the Senators. Pardy played 18:25 and recorded an assist in the 4-3 loss.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said seven defensemen, including Ehrhoff, will take part in pregame warm-ups Thursday. A decision will be made after that. Ehrhoff is Buffalo's highest-scoring defenseman this season with five points and has averaged a team-high 23:54 of ice time per game.
"Early indications are [Ehrhoff] should be able to make it, but no guarantee yet," Ruff said.
The Hurricanes did not skate Thursday morning. On Wednesday, coach Kirk Muller wouldn't confirm if Corvo, a former Senator, would re-enter the lineup. If so, expect Sanguinetti to become a healthy scratch. Ward is expected to get the start.
Lundin, who has been sidelined with a finger injury, will enter the lineup Thursday night for his first game as a Senator. He will likely play alongside Gonchar, who has missed the last two games with the flu.
The 27-year-old defenseman, who was the centerpiece for the Stars in a 2011 trade that sent James Neal and Matt Niskanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins, has zero goals and three assists this season. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan confirmed his decision to scratch Goligoski.
"Alex needs to get back to Alex's level. It's pretty cut and dried," Gulutzan told Dallas Morning News reporter Mike Heika.
Asked if he thinks he might be putting too much pressure on himself and trying too hard, Goligioski said yes.
"I think it's probably a little of that," he said. "I just have to relax and simplify my game, and just make the smart play."
I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.
— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic