Nashville Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun was activated from injured reserve Saturday and will dress for tonight's 7 p.m. home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Predators head coach Barry Trotz has not indicated whether Vokoun would start the game or fill the backup role for Pekka Rinne, who made his first NHL start in the Predators' 5-3 victory over Chicago Thursday night.
Vokoun had been sidelined for the better part of four games since suffering a knee strain in the Predators' Dec. 8 loss to the New York Rangers. At the time, he was expected to miss one to two weeks. Vokoun began skating on his own Tuesday and returned to team practice on Friday. Afterward, he stated he was ready to play again.
To make room for Vokoun's activation, the Predators reassigned goaltender Brian Finley to the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday. Finley, who was called up from Nashville's American Hockey League affiliate on Dec. 9 to serve as backup to No. 2 goaltender Chris Mason, made his first career NHL start in the Predators' Dec. 13 game against Tampa Bay after Mason injured his groin in warmups. Nashville lost that contest 7-3.
With Mason sidelined, Rinne was recalled from Milwaukee on Wednesday and made 35 saves on 38 Chicago shots for his first NHL victory on Thursday. He became the Predators' fourth starter in as many games.