In a sign that the wait is coming to an end, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy took part in Tampa Bay Lightning practice on Monday morning.
At the end of September, he underwent surgery for a herniated lumbar disc, and the Russian came out on the ice in full gear, much to the satisfaction of his teammates, who nevertheless managed well in his absence. The exact date of his return to action remains to be determined, but last week Bolts head coach Jon Cooper said he would be disappointed if his main player returns after the November 23 US pardon.
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The team from Florida is fifth in the Atlantic Division of the National Hockey League with a record of 6-5-4. Jonas Johansson and Matt Tomkins have taken the lead since the start of the campaign, but neither has an efficiency rate at or above .900. On Tuesday, Tampa Bay will visit St. Louis Blues.