NHL notes: Stamkos nearing return to Lightning lineup

Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos stretches with the team during a morning skate in...

Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos stretches with the team during a morning skate in Toronto, Jan. 28, 2014. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:05 PM ET

Steven Stamkos could finally be ready to return to the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup.

Stamkos, who has missed more than 40 games after breaking his right leg against the Boston Bruins, skated with the Lightning Tuesday but did not play against the St. Louis Blues. He will have an X-ray Wednesday and could be cleared to play Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres.

"I feel great. I feel the last two weeks, I've felt ready to play," Stamkos said on the NHL's website. "We'll see what happens (Wednesday). We've been skating, we've been pushing it off the ice, we've been doing a lot of single-leg testing. It feels as good as it's going to get for the rest of this year. It feels pretty much the same as my other leg. It's kind of not based on how I feel, it's how the X-ray looks. I'm hoping third time's a charm."

The return of Stamkos, who had 14 goals and nine assists in 17 games before getting hurt, would be a huge boost for the Lightning, who also saw forward Valtteri Filppula return to action Tuesday. Filppula missed four games with an ankle injury.

BOYES GETS NEW DEAL

The Florida Panthers capped a busy day on the trade front by re-signing forward Brad Boyes.

In addition to trading for goaltender Roberto Luongo and sending defenceman Mike Weaver to the Montreal Canadiens, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon found time to get Boyes signature on a two-year, $5.25 million extension, according to TSN. The deal, at $2.625 million per year, also includes a limited no-trade clause, an ESPN report said.

Boyes, a former 43-goal scorer with the St. Louis Blues, signed a one-year deal with the Panthers after being invited to training camp on a tryout basis. He is Florida's leading goal scorer this season, with 17 goals in 59 games.

The former first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs (2000) has played 665 games with five teams, recording 185 goals and 250 assists.

HURRICANES INK GOALIE

The Carolina Hurricanes locked up goaltender Anton Khudobin for another two years Tuesday.

The Hurricanes signed the 27-year-old from Kazakhstan to a two-year extension worth $4.5 million -- $2 million for next season and $2.5 million for 2015-16.

"We are pleased to be able to keep Anton with the Hurricanes," Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said in a press release. "He has played well this season and signing him helps solidify our team's goaltending situation."

Khudobin has gone 13-8-0 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in his first season with the Hurricanes.

HABS' PRICE SKATES

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who went on injured reserve Monday, skated with a handful of teammates Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Price spent about 20 minutes working with goalie coach Stephane Waite after getting extra treatment from team staff. He is considered day-to-day despite being on IR.

"It felt good to get on the ice," Price said on the Canadiens website. "It's coming down to the important part of the year and I want to go into this stretch 100%. The last 20 games of the year are a real mental grind and I want to make sure I'm prepared for the rest of the year and the playoffs."

Price has missed all four games since returning from the Olympics in Sochi, where he aggravated a lower-body injury despite backstopping Canada to the gold medal, and is not expected to play Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks, giving backup Peter Budaj his fifth straight start.

BRIEFLY

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk is day-to-day with an apparent knee injury after being hurt Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. Joakim Andersson took Datsyuk's spot on the top line against the New Jersey Devils Tuesday ... Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson missed Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers due to what coach Claude Julien called a "minor issue." Eriksson is expected to play Thursday against Washington ... The Ottawa Senators put forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers. Conacher finished sixth in rookie of the year voting last season but has just four goals and 16 assists in 59 games.


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