After being a healthy scratch for seven games, veteran Vinny Lecavalier will return to the Flyers' lineup Thursday against visiting Florida.

The 34-year-old forward will play right wing on a line centered by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Zac Rinaldo will be at left wing, and Chris VandeVelde will be scratched.

Lecavalier, who has 405 career goals, will also be on the second power-play unit.

"It's nice to be back and be with the guys," Lecavalier said. "It was really tough (to sit), especially the first game. After that, it was kind of a mental game to stay positive and work hard."

Coach Craig Berube said Lecavalier has been "skating well and working hard" in practice. "We get a little boost here...maybe a little pop on the power play."

In 16 games, Lecavalier has two goals, six points, and a minus-4 rating. He started the season well, but struggled after missing seven games with an ankle injury.

While he was a healthy scratch, Lecavalier talked to his father, Yvon,for advice.
"’re not very happy and you’re frustrated you’re not playing," he said. "I was talking with my dad and there’s nothing I can do. It’s out of my control. The only thing I can control is me being ready for next time. I come to the rink and be happy to be with the guys and work hard. That’s the only thing I can control, so that’s what I did.”
Lecavalier's dad, a retired firefighter who lives in Tampa, played junior hockey until he was 19.
“We’re a pretty tight family, so we had a lot of conversations and he was obviously frustrated like me the first day, but obviously you’ve got to move on," Lecavalier said. "Like I said, it’s been three weeks. That’s a long time. Too long. But I’m playing today.”
Lecavalier, who had 20 goals last season, said he has a lot of good hockey left.
"I still believe in myself. I believe in what I can do," he said. "I'm not 40 years old. I'm 34. Not 24, maybe, but I still feel I can be very productive."
In 83 career games against Florida, Lecavalier has 72 points and 28 goals.
Steve Mason will start for the Flyers; he is 6-10-4 with a 2.58 GAA and .918 save percentage.
After tonight, the Flyers go on an eight-game road trip.