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The Masked Captain: Barkov Has 4-Point Day for Panthers In Full Shield



Panthers barkov
Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov, right, congratulates defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson after his goal gave Florida a 4-3 lead in Colorado on Saturday afternoon. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

After taking an elbow to the face and missing the final two periods of Thursday’s win in Vegas, Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov had to wear a full face shield on Saturday.

It did not affect him as Barkov dished out four assists in a 8-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

“Yesterday, I got the news that I have to wear it, and I wasn’t really happy about it,” Barkov said after the game.

“But it’s OK. As long as I can be out there, it’s fun.”

The Panthers were glad Barkov could suit up, too, after initially listing him and linemate Evan Rodrigues as game-time decisions on Saturday afternoon.

Barkov looked like himself despite the added headgear, making big plays on both ends of the ice and helping the Panthers win a barn burner.

He got his first assist of the night 3:02 into the game after shaking off Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon before sliding the puck over to Gus Forsling.

Forsling’s shot was promptly deflected home by Sam Reinhart to put the Panthers ahead 2-0.

Barkov then stripped Colorado’s other franchise player, Cale Makar, in the defensive zone and sent Reinhart on a breakaway just over four minutes later for assist No. 2.

After the Avalanche erased Florida’s 3-0 first-period lead, Barkov bounced a puck off the boards to set up Oliver Ekman-Larsson at the point.

He wired a wrist shot past Alexandar Georgiev to give Florida a 4-3 lead 8:50 into the second.

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Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov warms up before Saturday’s game in Denver. // Photo courtesy of Angi Zampogna Johnson

“Barky made a good play,” Ekman-Larsson said. “I had a good screen in front from a couple of guys on the net.”

After Colorado tied the game again, Barkov picked up an assist on the game-winning goal via a tic-tac-toe play between him, Matthew Tkachuk, and Reinhart.

“He’s been fast all year, and the helmet didn’t slow him down,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.

“He’s going to have to wear it consecutively, but if he gets four in the next one, he will have to wear it the whole year.”



  • When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Enterprise Center, St. Louis
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • This Season (St. Louis Leads 1-0) — At Florida: Blues 4, Panthers 1 (Dec. 21). At St. Louis: Tuesday.
  • Last Season: Blues won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: St. Louis leads 27-12-1, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday vs. Los Angeles, 7 p.m.

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