With Barkov nonetheless out, a have a look at who the Panthers have relied on to fill his void
The Florida Panthers proceed to be with out their captain as they attain the halfway level of their five-game highway journey.
Panthers captain and star heart Aleksander Barkov stays away from the staff as he offers with a non-COVID sickness. He will miss his fourth consecutive sport and the fifth time up to now eight video games on Thursday in opposition to Vancouver Canucks.
The Panthers are 0-2-2 within the 4 video games they’ve performed with out Barkov getting into Thursday, dropping in regulation in opposition to the Dallas Stars on Nov. 17 and Calgary Flames on Tuesday along with extra time losses to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday and Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
“He’s feeling better. That’s the first kind of real turn,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice instructed reporters Thursday in Vancouver. “We’ll start to look at getting him some workouts. He may be able to get back on the ice in the next day or two. … It feels like we’re trending in the right direction.”
And in Barkov’s absence, 4 gamers in particular have seen roles both enhance or change as Maurice tries to fill the void of enjoying with out his staff’s high participant.
▪ Sam Bennett: He has centered the Panthers’ high line in Barkov’s absence, with Carter Verhaeghe and Matthew Tkachuk on his wings. Bennett’s common ice time within the 4 video games Barkov has missed is nineteen:47, almost two minutes extra per sport than his different 19 video games this season. Four of his eight video games with essentially the most ice time logged have include Barkov out.
▪ Anton Lundell: The second-year heart has moved as much as the second line with out Barkov, and his ice time has proven. Three of Lundell’s 5 video games with greater than 19 minutes on ice are with out Barkov, together with his 21:42 in opposition to Dallas on Nov. 17 and 21:36 in opposition to St. Louis on Saturday — the one two video games in Lundell’s profession by which he performed greater than 20 minutes. Lundell’s scoring manufacturing has ticked up recently, too. He is on a four-game level streak, scoring three targets and logging an help in that span.
▪ Eetu Luostarinen: The 24-year-old ahead has moved again to heart in video games with out Barkov after enjoying totally on the wing this season. Maruice trusts Luostarinen’s two-way talents, serving to arrange performs on offense and being accountable defensively.
▪ Aleksi Heponiemi: The 23-year-old ahead draw into the lineup for a 3rd consecutive sport and fifth time this season. Maurice appreciated what he noticed from Heponiemi throughout coaching camp, however the Panthers are pushed up in opposition to the NHL’s wage cap, so his solely time on the NHL degree to this point this season have come following accidents as a league-allowed emergency substitute after Florida dipped under 20 skaters in a sport.
Star Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who enters Thursday on a five-game level streak, has hit three profession milestones throughout his previous 4 video games.
His empty-net purpose on Nov. 23 in opposition to the Boston Bruins was the one hundredth of his NHL profession. After scoring one other purpose in opposition to the Blues on Saturday and logging an help Monday in opposition to Edmonton, Ekblad reached 300 profession factors. Finally, he logged his 2 hundredth profession help Tuesday in opposition to Calgary.
Ekblad’s 101 targets and 300 factors are essentially the most in Panthers historical past amongst defensemen. His 200 assists rank third amongst blue liners in franchise historical past, behind solely Rober Svehla (229) and Keith Yandle (201).
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