SUNRISE, Fla. -- Stephen Weiss was back with his Florida Panthers teammates Thursday morning and looking forward to Thursday's game against the Buffalo Sabres after a few tough days personally and professionally.
Weiss missed the Panthers' prior game, a 6-4 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins, after flying to Toronto to attend his grandmother's funeral.
Weiss flew to Canada on Monday, one day after he was benched for most of the third period of Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
After taking part in the Panthers' optional morning skate Thursday, Weiss was asked whether he was getting a fresh start.
"Yeah, it was definitely nice to go back home and see the family," Weiss said. "Anytime something like that happens, it kind of refocuses you. I'm kind of looking forward to playing tonight."
Lehner is scheduled to make his Senators season debut Thursday against the Bruins, coach Paul MacLean confirmed after his team's morning skate. This season with Binghamton of the American Hockey League, Lehner posted a 2.12 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.
"Robin's had a very successful season in the American Hockey League and he's played very well in the National Hockey League last season when he played," MacLean said. "He played here and he played well. And those are a lot of the factors that go into it. The fact that he's played very well this year in the American League gives us a lot of confidence."
It's a busy day on the ice with 11 games Thursday night and Cisco NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, will have you covered.
Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal and Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter face their old teams on the NHL Network, Thursday at 7 p.m. We'll get a game preview from Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer on our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Carolina. Another big matchup is in the Central as the Chicago Blackhawks play the St. Louis Blues in search for their 20th-straight game from the start of the season with at least a point. We'll get a preview from NHL Network analyst Kelly Chase in St. Louis.
Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com will also join us from Boston to preview the Bruins' return home after a successful five-game road trip, as they face off against division rival Ottawa. Lastly, we will go to our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in New York with NHL.com's Dave Lozo as the banged-up Rangers are going for the season sweep against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, keep an eye on this Senior Reporter's dance moves in his EJ5, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Thursday.
NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon will make his second straight start Thursday, giving Anders Lindback another break, when the Lightning face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Lindback hasn't played since Sunday, when he allowed three goals on 10 shots against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-3 Lightning loss. He was pulled after the first period of that game, and he was the last player to come off the ice at Thursday's morning skate.
"Every game he's in, he gives us a chance to win," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said of Garon, who has stopped 61 of 66 shots (.924 save percentage) in his past three games. "He plays very calm for me, that's what I see. There's not a lot of big rebounds for the other team to capitalize on. He's been very good."
To date the Bruins have played the fewest games in the NHL with 16 (they're 12-2-2). After putting their season-high four-game winning streak on the line against the Senators, they'll play 17 games in March.
"I think rest is definitely going to be a big thing, making sure you're not too active away from the rink," forward Chris Bourque said after the Bruins' morning skate at TD Garden, "kind of taking it easy, whereas in a regular schedule you might go out with the family, hang out, go to the mall or something or go for a walk. You'll spend a lot more time on the couch, that kind of stuff. Just getting the proper rest and hydration all that sort of stuff is going to be key, I think."
Scott was a healthy scratch the past two games, but Sabres coach Ron Rolston said the 6-foot-8 wing would play because of the anticipated presence in the Florida lineup of enforcer George Parros.
Scott and Parros had a fight when the teams met in Buffalo on Feb. 3, a game the Panthers won 4-3.
With Scott in the lineup, left wing Marcus Foligno is expected to be a healthy scratch.
Volpatti, 27, has recorded one goal and 28 penalty minutes in 16 games with Vancouver this season. The native of Revelstoke, British Columbia, ranked second on Vancouver in penalty minutes this season and has collected three goals, one assist and 81 penalty minutes in 54 career NHL games with the Canucks.
The 6-foot, 215-pound forward tallied 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) and 91 penalty minutes in 61 career AHL games with Manitoba. He spent four seasons playing for Brown University in the NCAA and was named to the ECAC All-Academic team his first three seasons before being named team captain for his senior season.
Volpatti was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Vancouver on March 22, 2010.
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You could see out there that everybody was willing to compete, to sacrifice, even blocking shots to the end. Even in the third when we were up 5-0, guys were still working hard and blocking shots That's a nice feeling also for the future.