Rinne, who hasn't played since late October due to an infection in his surgically-repaired hip, stopped 33 of 35 shots in a pair of games for Milwaukee of the American Hockey League in a conditioning stint and declared himself ready to go over the weekend.
Rinne has a 2.31 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in nine starts this season. He signed a seven-year contract extension with the Predators during the 2011-12 season, during which he won 43 games with a 2.39 GAA and .923 save percentage.
It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun.
— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday