SUNRISE, Fla. --
Washington goalie Tomas Vokoun
was happy to return to South Florida so he could see his wife and two daughters. But the trip will not include a start against his former team.
Instead, Coach Dale Hunter
said Michal Neuvirth
will get the call against Florida, the team for which Vokoun played for the last four seasons.
"Those are the decisions Coach makes," Vokoun said. "I'm a paid employee and I don't make those kind of decisions. I'm a hockey player, I'm paid to play games. When they tell me I'm playing, I'm playing. When they told me I'm not playing, I'm not playing."
Vokoun left his family behind when he signed a one-year contract as a free agent with Washington this summer because he wanted his kids to stay in their school.
He flew to South Florida ahead of his teammates and stayed at his house on Sunday night.
"Obviously for me it's special becasue my family is here," he said. "I get to see my kids and stay home a couple of days. Being away since September, it's really nice."
Vokoun faced the Panthers earlier this season when the teams met in Washington and stopped 20 shots in a 3-0 shutout victory.
Hunter also said after Monday's morning skate that defenseman Roman Hamrlik
will miss a third consecutive game with a lower-body injury.
Left wing Alexander Semin
, however, could be available after missing Saturday night's 3-2 overtime victory over Ottawa with a shoulder injury. Hunter said a final call on his lineup will be a game-time decision.