The Panthers had a spirited practice today at Savelogy.com Iceplex and good news is that winger Scottie Upshall is back on the ice and appears ready to play against Nashville, his former team, Saturday night. Upshall missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.

“I know I’m excited to play Nashville. I didn’t get to play them earlier this year. We have a big game,’’ said Upshall, who was benched by then coach Kevin Dineen in the previous Predators’ game.

Upshall will play against his first NHL coach, Barry Trotz, and his new coach Peter Horachek will go up against his mentor and friend for the first time as an NHL head coach. Horachek spent 10 seasons in the Predators organization, nine behind the bench, first as an assistant and the last two as an associate head coach.

Other good news saw defenseman Erik Gudbranson back on the ice wearing a cage to protect his surgically repaired orbital bone. He’s not allowed to take any contact yet but is allowed to work on his conditioning and skills. He’s still probably 10 to 14 days away.

Also, injured winger Jesse Winchester skated after practice still in a cast or wrap around what’s believed to be a broken hand. Winchester is still a few weeks away, too.