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.
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.