PHILADELPHIA -- Vincent Lecavalier
skated with his teammates Monday morning, but said he won't be playing when his Tampa Bay Lightning
teammates take the ice against the Philadelphia Flyers
(7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2).
Lecavalier hasn't played since Feb. 18 when he broke his right hand during a game against the Washington Capitals
"It was definitely my best day today, by far," Lecavalier said after this morning's practice. "I felt really good. Obviously I'm not going to play tonight (but) it's progressing really well."
Lecavalier said the power is returning to his shots, and that he hopes to get into a game at some point during the team's three-game road trip; after tonight's game in Philadelphia, they'll play in Boston and New Jersey.
"That's why I'm here," he said. "I want to play, (but) we'll see. It all depends on how it reacts. Today was probably the best day, but see how it feels tomorrow."
Lecavalier said he's anxious to jump back in the lineup.
"It's not really fun," he said of rehabilitating. "The first four weeks I was skating alone, no pucks. It wasn't a lot of fun. It'll be nice to get back to your teammates. Today just practicing with my teammates was a lot of fun."
With all the injuries the Lightning have suffered this season, coach Guy Boucher
said he's happy to know that any of his veteran forwards are close to returning.
"It'll mean a lot for us," Boucher said. "Half the team is from the American league. Any guys we can get back makes a big, big difference. Our guys from the American league have done everything they could for us to stay in games and battle, and we have. Guys are playing real well. But like I've said before, we can't expect or put pressure on guys coming up and replacing Vinny. Power play, 5-on-5, and same thing with (Nate) Thompson, they're such important players for our team. (Adam) Hall's not there, (Ryan) Shannon's not there. More than half our forwards are guys that didn't start the year with us. It's important those guys understand we're asking them to do things they can do and when Vinny's back, we'll ask Vinny to do things he can do."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK