G Vokoun in uniform for Predators

Jan 7, 2007 - 7:21 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Tomas Vokoun moved a step closer toward returning to the crease for the Nashville Predators.

Sidelined since November 23, Vokoun dressed as the backup for the Predators in their 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

Vokoun had been on the shelf for 20 games due to a thumb injury suffered in a 6-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Prior to the ailment, he went 11-4-1 with one shutout and a .920 save percentage in 16 contests.

Predators coach Barry Trotz is expected to start Vokoun on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

"That's the plan right now," Trotz said. "That's why he was on the bench tonight. He says he is ready to go, and he is our No. 1 goalie, so you just say, 'He's ready and he's going in.'"

A ninth-round pick of Montreal in 1994, Vokoun has been Nashville's starting goaltender since Mike Dunham was traded to the New York Rangers in December 2002. The 30-year-old Czech owns a lifetime mark of 145-151-43 with 17 shutouts and a 2.56 goals-against average in 356 career games with the Canadiens and Predators.

Chris Mason has performed well in place of Vokoun, going 14-6-1 with three shutouts. Saturday was Mason's 21st consecutive start.

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