"It felt great out there," Stamkos told the Tampa Bay Times. "The best it's felt."
Stamkos attempted to return from a broken right tibia sustained Nov. 11 in time to play for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics but could not. He said the extra time off has been a great benefit.
"It did feel good, but it feels even better now," Stamkos said. "Maybe I wasn't as far along as I thought, knowing how much better it has felt now that I have kept working on it and taking a couple of days off. It's just going to continually get better, and that's positive knowing it's doing that."
Tampa Bay plays Thursday at the Nashville Predators. Stamkos will have an X-ray Monday, the newspaper said.