The 33-year-old veteran scored on a power-play goal with 10:26 left in the third period but the Panthers fell 6-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Yandle’s career stared in 2006 with the Phoenix Coyotes. The last game he missed was March 22, 2009.
The Panthers were unable to overcome a four-goal deficit after the first period. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was replaced by Sam Montembeault to start the second period. He finished the game with 19 saves.
“He played great,” Yandle said of Montembeault’s performance. “He gave us a chance to get back in it. We feel bad that we hung Bob [Bobrovsky] out to try, especially with how he played last game for us. It’s just one of those things, for us, that’ll be a good test for us to see how we respond.”
The Panthers outscored the Hurricanes 3-2 during the second and third period with the last Carolina goal coming after Florida pulled their goalie to create a 6-on-5 scenario.
“I think the message is clear that we’ve got to play our system to the drop of the puck until the end of the game,” Yandle said. “Once we buckled down and played the way [the coaches] want us to play, in the second and third you could tell we were the more dominant team, but we were chasing too much.”
The Hurricanes have won their fourth straight game to begin the season, equaling the best start in franchise history.