The Florida Panthers did not have a morning skate before Thursday’s game against the visiting Red Wings, but they are expected to have a couple of big additions to their lineup.
Captain Sasha Barkov, who has missed the past six games and seven of 10 due to pneumonia, will be back centering the top line.
Anton Lundell has missed the past two games with illness and will not play Thursday night.
Florida could definitely use both.
Not only are they two of the top drivers of the team’s offense, but they are also Florida’s best defensive forwards.
Although the penalty kill has pretty much been strong without Barkov, it was 2-for-4 in Tuesday’s loss in Winnipeg.
ROSTER UPDATE: The Panthers called up goalie Alex Lyon from Charlotte which may explain why Paul Maurice pulled Spencer Knight in the second period on Tuesday.
So, Sergei Bobrovsky starts with Aleksi Heponiemi sent back to the Checkers.
Florida has had a lot of success against Detroit over the past couple of years, but it looks like the rebuild is paying off for the Wings.
Detroit is a streaky bunch and comes into tonight’s game with wins in its past two games.
Those two wins, against Columbus and Tampa Bay, came on the heels of a three-game losing streak — which followed a four-game losing streak. Which was preceded by a three-game winning streak.
Got all that?
Florida not only won all four games agains the Wings last season but have a six-game winning streak against Detroit coming in with five consecutive wins in Sunrise.
Since March 30, 2021, Florida is 16-2 against Detroit.
PANTHERS ON DECK
DETROIT RED WINGS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- Streaming ONLY: ESPN+/Hulu
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- DraftKings odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-205); Puck line (-1.5, +130); Over/Under 6.5 (-105/-115)
- Last season: Florida won 4-0
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 33-19-6, 5 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday at Tampa Bay, 4:30 p.m.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
21 Nick Cousins // 9 Sam Bennett // 13 Sam Reinhart
94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 6 Colin White
71 Chris Tierney // 12 Eric Staal // 22 Zac Dalpe
42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad
62 Brandon Montour // 18 Marc Staal
28 Josh Mahura // 3 Matt Kiersted
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
34 Alex Lyon
Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles), Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Radko Gudas (concussion), Spencer Knight (illness), Anton Lundell (illness)
Returned to Charlotte: Aleksi Heponiemi
PROJECTED DETROIT RED WINGS LINEUP
57 David Perron // 71 Dylan Larkin // 23 Lucas Raymond
24 Pius Suter // 27 Michael Rasmussen // 81 Dominik Kubalik
73 Adam Erne // 18 Andrew Copp // 70 Oskar Sundqvist
XX Jonatan Berggren // 90 Joe Veleno // 21 Austin Cazrnik
8 Ben Chiarot // 52 Mo Seider
2 Olli Maata // 17 Filip Hronek
82 Jordan Oesterle // 96 Jake Walman
39 Alek Nedeljkovic
35 Ville Husso