The Florida Panthers changed up their top six during the third period of their 5-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.
Will it last?
Coach Paul Maurice explained that he moved Matthew Tkachuk up to play with Sasha Barkov and Sam Reinhart was to counter the second line “not being as good as it had been and I thought the same about (Anton) Lundell’s game.”
Maurice went on to explain that he basically put the two power play forward lines together so “when we got a power play, we had a fresh group out there.”
Those three already made up Florida’s top power play forward line along with defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour, so they are used to playing with one another.
Perhaps the Panthers keep things as they were at the end of the game on Saturday night as they team was creating a number of scoring opportunities.
”On this team, I like playing with anyone,’’ Barkov said. “We have so many skilled played. Chucky and Reino are elite players in this league so anytime you get a chance to play with those guys, you have to play hard and find a way to get open. That’s what I did and got the goal.”
Aside from the Panthers being on the road, the NHL Trade Deadline is coming up and the rumors are flying hot and heavy.
Lot going on in the NHL right now.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
The Florida Panthers are on the road, again, as they open up a key stretch tonight against the host Minnesota Wild.
Florida will visit Minnesota and St. Louis — before a key game against the Capitals on Thursday night. The trip ends Saturday in Nashville.
- The Panthers got off to a bad start against the Avalanche on Saturday night as they saw their modest three-game winning streak come to a close.
- Sam Bennett saw his two primary linemates either get traded or get hurt during the offseason. His game has evolved, however, and the Panthers like what they are seeing.
- Brandon Montour is having an absolutely terrific season as his increased responsibilities with the Panthers has suited him well.
- It was not that long ago that Josh Mahura was on waivers. Friday, he signed a contract extension with the Panthers.
- Postgame video from Saturday night from Maurice, Barkov and Bennett is now up on the FHN YouTube Channel.
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NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Arizona Coyotes made Jakob Chychrun a healthy scratch on Saturday night with the thought that a trade is forthcoming.
The Los Angeles Kings have been linked to Chychrun with coach Todd McLellan addressing all the rumors on Sunday.
- The Boston Bruins were slow in Saturday’s loss to the Capitals but they did shake the rust off.
- Sunday was the Washington Capitals turn to look slow in a surprising loss to the San Jose Sharks.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for a third-line center. Who is out there?
- The Philadelphia Flyers did not give their fans a nice Super Bowl appetizer in a loss to the Kraken.
- The Detroit Red Wings have a five-game trip coming up which could decide their postseason fate.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT MINNESOTA WILD
- When: Monday, 8 p.m.
- Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Florida won 2-0
- This season (Pantherso 1-0): Panthers 5, Wild 3 (Jan. 21)
- All-time regular season series: Minnesota leads 18-9-2, 1 tie
- Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.