TAMPA -- Evgeni Nabokov took full advantage of his night off to get in a good workout Saturday morning. He's never been anything less than committed to this season, but now he has extra incentive to keep up his work, having inked a one-year deal for next season on Wednesday.
"You have your choices, and you always want to make the smart choice, not just for yourself," Nabokov said.
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He has seen the work ethic of the team's young core of talent, led by John Tavares, and felt this was a good place to be.
"They've been proving it since day one that they're legitimate NHL players," Nabokov said. "Watching Johnny, how hard he works every day, how much of a leader he is by example, that explains everything. Now it's a matter of executing the right way and being more consistent as a team."
Nabokov will bring his decent numbers (17-18-3, 2.56 goals against, .912 save percentage) into a likely start Sunday night in Sunrise against the Panthers. But the veteran, who has missed the postseason only once in 10 previous NHL seasons, isn't pleased with his work after a year away from the NHL.
"Any time you don't make the playoffs, I don't think you can consider that a satisfying season," he said. "I'm no different than anybody else."
Pandolfo, Jurcina sit
Jay Pandolfo and Milan Jurcina were the healthy scratches, Pandolfo for a third straight game, Jurcina for a second . . . Nino Niederreiter, the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, entered Saturday night's game with one goal in his last 43 games.