Former Penguins star Alex Kovalev has been an occasional healthy scratch for the Florida Panthers but was in the lineup Friday.

Before the game, Kovalev sounded like a player who is getting tired of the NHL.

One of the most highly skilled players in hockey, Kovalev is not enjoying the fact that scoring is down in the past few NHL seasons.

“There's more just kind of straightforward hockey (today),” Kovalev said. “Not much skill compared to the old days.”

One of Kovalev's old coaches, Dan Bylsma, acknowledged before the game that while Kovalev isn't hockey's fastest player, his skill and patience with the puck are rare commodities.

Kovalev, though, said he doesn't believe his talents fit into this era of NHL hockey.