SUNRISE — With Sam Bennett suspended for the next three games, his reunion with former teammates will not happen Tuesday night when the Calgary Flames visit the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena.
But that does not mean there won’t be some old friends on the ice.
Jacob Markstrom and Erik Gudbranson, two former Panthers, will be back in Sunrise.
The two have played the Panthers since being traded in separate deals.
Gudbranson has two assists in 10 games against the Panthers since being traded to Vancouver not long after the 2015-16 season ended.
Markstrom is expected to make his seventh start against Florida. He is 2-3-1 against the Panthers with a .918 save percentage and a 2.77 GAA.
The Panthers traded Markstrom, their goalie of the future whom they drafted in the second round in 2008, to Vancouver as part of the Roberto Luongo deal in 2014.
Since moving on, Markstrom has evolved into one of the best goalies in the NHL.
After pitching nine shutouts with the Canucks in 2018-19 and going 23-16-4 the following season, Markstrom signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Flames.
His 1.99/.930 are both ranked fourth in the NHL this season and his five shutouts lead all goalies.
The Flames have won their past two games after a long Covid break — and having a couple additional games postponed — including a 5-1 win in Chicago on Sunday.
Florida came into Monday tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference with 47 points; Calgary (40) is tied for fifth in the West.
— The Panthers will be without three key players on Tuesday.
Bennett, who spent part of seven seasons with Calgary, was suspended three games for an illegal check to Montreal’s Cedric Paquette on Saturday.
He would have his true reunion back in Calgary on Jan. 18 — if that game is played as scheduled.
Florida will also be missing Sam Reinhart and Mason Marchment after those two joined assistant coach Tuomo Ruutu in Covid protocol. Olli Juolevi, previously in protocol, participated in practice Monday.
Carter Verhaeghe left Saturday’s game in the third period and did not practice Monday. He is expected to play Tuesday.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
CALGARY FLAMES AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560, SiriusXM
- NHL Betting Odds from FanDuel: Florida favored (PL -1.5 +172) — (ML -132) — U/O 6
- Last season: Did not play
- All-time regular season series: Calgary leads 21-10-3, 3 ties
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 98 Maxim Mamin
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 15 Anton Lundell // 10 Anthony Duclair
77 Frank Vatrano // 19 Joe Thornton // 74 Owen Tippett
94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 70 Patric Hornqvist
52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas
32 Lucas Carlsson // 62 Brandon Montour
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
35 Jonas Johansson
Scratched: Olli Juolevi, Spencer Knight
Injured: Noel Acciari (LTIR), Markus Nutivaara (LTIR)
Taxi Squad: Matt Kiersted, Chase Priskie, Aleksi Heponiemi
Covid Protocol: Mason Marchment, Sam Reinhart
Suspended: Sam Bennett
PROJECTED CALGARY FLAMES LINEUP
13 Johnny Gaudreau // 28 Elias Lindholm // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
17 Milan Lucic // 29 Dillon Dube // 88 Andrew Mangiapane
20 Blake Coleman // 11 Mikael Backlund // 18 Tyler Pitlick
15 Brad Richardson // 23 Sean Monahan // 22 Trevor Lewis
55 Noah Hanifin // 4 Rasmus Andersson
58 Oliver Kylington // 8 Chris Tanev
16 Nikita Zadorov // 44 Erik Gudbranson
25 Jacob Markstrom
80 Daniel Vladar