The Florida Panthers will have their band back together tonight in Anaheim after both Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad were activated off injured reserve.
Both defensemen are expected to play tonight against the Ducks.
Florida was able to create roster space by placing Josh Mahura on injured reserve.
Both Ekblad and Montour have missed Florida’s first 16 games of the season after having surgeries following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final.
Montour, who got his start playing in Anaheim, said missing all that time was tough and he was excited to start playing again.
“Obviously, you are anxious,’’ Montour said before the team left for its west coast trip. “It has been a long time. We had a shorter offseason but for (himself and Ekblad) it was longer because of the rehab.
“Any injury like this, the rehab is long and tough. There are long grueling days with treatment and workouts. But we’re close. Myself and Aaron, we’re feeling pretty good. We are excited with how the boys are playing.”
Florida has been not only to survive missing their top two defensemen — but thrive.
The Panthers had their five-game winning streak end with a loss Thursday in Los Angeles but remain in second place in the Atlantic Division.
“We like where their game is at,” Montour said. “For both of us, we just want to add to the strength of our team. The record shows how well we have been playing. We just have to keep that going when we get back.”
Montour said he is ready to jump in and help.
“We have been skating with the team for almost a month and we have been skating since preseason started,” Montour said. “It has been a long time. Both of us feel good and we’re excited to get back out there.”
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS @ ANAHEIM DUCKS
- When: Friday, 10 p.m.
- Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
- 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: @Anaheim, Friday; @Florida, Jan. 15
- Last season: Florida won 2-0
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 21-14-2, 3 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Monday vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m.