Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic is reporting that Florida Panthers star center Aleksander Barkov will not dress tonight for the Panthers matchup with the Boston Bruins. It will be the second game in a row that the 28-year-old has missed after suffering a knee injury in Friday night’s win over the Anaheim Ducks. Knee injuries can be tricky, and it appears that the Panthers are opting to proceed cautiously with Barkov’s return to the line-up.
Panthers head coach Paul Maurice did tell Florida play-by-play broadcaster Doug Plagens that Barkov could return as early as Friday against the Winnipeg Jets. If he can return, Barkov and the Panthers will have dodged a major injury scare as the collision that sidelined Barkov could have been much worse. Barkov currently sits second on the Panthers in scoring with six goals and 11 assists in 16 games.
In other injury notes:
- Tampa Bay Times writer Eduardo A. Encina is reporting that Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told reporters today that there is a very good chance that star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy will play on the team’s upcoming road trip. Vasilevskiy took part in Tampa Bay’s morning skate today but still is not ready to play. The Lighting will open their three-game road trip this Friday in Carolina and then get a few days off before they play a back-to-back in Colorado and then Arizona next Monday and Tuesday. Given that timeline, it is possible that the 2019 Vezina Trophy winner will make his season debut in the next week.
- Nashville Predators reporter Michael Gallagher tweeted that Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh skated with Roman Josi at practice this morning and is expected to return to game action this evening against the Calgary Flames. McDonagh has been out of action with a lower-body injury since November 2nd, missing the Predators last seven games. While he doesn’t offer much offensively, Nashville’s goaltenders badly missed the veteran. McDonagh is still a terrific penalty killer and does a very good job limiting his opponent’s offensive opportunities. Nashville gave up 20 goals in a four-game losing streak in McDonagh’s absence but has rallied off two straight wins since. They currently sit sixth in the Central Division with a 7-10 record.