Vrbata scored a goal in his return from sickness against St. Louis on Tuesday.
Vrbata -- who was coming off a five-game absence due to illness -- picked up a loose puck in front of the net and wristed it top shelf past the glove hand of Blues netminder Jake Allen. While the veteran Vrbata may be slotted into a third-line role currently, he is still getting looks on the power play, which should provide additional opportunities to get on the scoresheet.
Vrbata (illness) will play Tuesday against the Blues, Steve Goldstein of Fox Sports Florida reports.
Vrbata has sat out for five games with this illness, suiting up last Dec. 23. The 36-year-old is having a clear slump after last season's 55-point effort, having just four goals and eight assists through 30 games this campaign. Vrbata has occasionally played on the power play this season, but it's unclear if he'll jump back into that role after being out of commission for over two weeks.
Vrbata has missed five consecutive games due to his illness, but appears to be trending in the right direction. The veteran figures to take on a bottom-six role in his return, and who comes out of the lineup is still to be determined. The winger has just one goal in his previous 21 outings and could struggle to reach the 30-point mark this season, a year removed from putting up 55 points with Arizona in 2016-17.
Vrbata (illness) will miss a third straight game Tuesday against Minnesota, Matthew DeFranks of the Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
The Panthers have yet to release any details regarding a potential timetable for Vrbata's recovery, so at this point there's no telling when he might be ready to return to the lineup. The veteran winger will likely return to a bottom-six role once he's cleared to play.
Vrbata appears set to miss his second straight game, but is trending in the right direction and will probably be available for Tuesday's matchup with the Wild, barring a recurrence of his flu symptoms. The winger has just one goal in his previous 21 outings and seems unlikely to match his 2016-17 numbers (20 goals and 35 helpers). Once healthy to play, the veteran could find himself permanently relegated to a bottom-six role.