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Florida Panthers Close to Full Strength with Barkov & Forsling



Florida panthers forsling
Florida Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling will be back in the lineup tonight after taking maternity leave Monday. Florida is also expected to have captain Sasha Barkov against the Coyotes. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

SUNRISE — With Sasha Barkov and Gus Forsling expected to be back in the lineup tonight against the visiting Arizona Coyotes, the Florida Panthers are close to full strength once again.

Barkov has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury.

Barring a setback between now and warmups, Barkov will return to the lineup according to coach Paul Maurice.

And, according to Maurice, if Barkov does play, he will not start on the top line.


Well, the Panthers certainly like the way Anton Lundell has been with Sam Reinhart lately — and they want to see how Barkov does with rookie Mackie Samoskevich.

Samoskevich had his best of four games with the Panthers on Monday in Nashville (14 shifts, 9:30, 3 SOG) and Maurice wants to mix things up a little.

Forsling was not at the morning skate, but he has a pretty nice excuse as his wife recently had the couple’s first child.

He will play tonight as well.

Florida has three games left before the All-Star break and forward Nick Cousins also appears close to a return.

Although Cousins will not play against the Coyotes — he sustained his concussion after getting boarded by Jason Zucker in Tempe back on Jan. 2 — he could return Saturday in the back-to-back finale against the New York Islanders.

Florida is a big betting favorite against Arizona tonight at -250 on the moneyline.

The starting goalies: Sergei Bobrovsky against Karel Vejmelka.

Florida scored three goals on Vejmelka in its 4-1 win in Tempe earlier this month – and Vejmelka has lost his past three starts and has not played since Jan. 11.

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  • When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • 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, NHL app
  • Local Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-250); Puck line (-1.5, -105); Over/Under 6.5 (+105/-130)
  • Season Series — At Arizona: Panthers 4, Coyotes 1 (Jan 2). At Florida: Wednesday.
  • Last Season: Tied 1-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Tied, 20-20, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Friday at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.


17 Evan Rodrigues // 16 Sasha Barkov // 25 Mackie Samoskevich

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

27 Eetu Luostarinen// 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart

12 Jonah Gadjovich// 82 Kevin Stenlund //94 Ryan Lomberg

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Injured: Nick Cousins (concussion-IR)

Suspended: Will Lockwood (2nd of 3)

Scratched: Josh Mahura, Steven Lorentz


9 Clayton Keller // 17 Nick Bjugstad // 8 Nick Schmaltz

16 Jason Zucker // 15 Alex Kerfoot // 67 Lawson Crouse

63 Matias Maccelli // 92 Logan Cooley // 11 Dylan Guenther

53 Michael Carcone // 22 Jack McBain // 38 Liam O’Brien

90 J.J. Moser // 50 Sean Durzi

33 Travis Dermott // 5 Michael Kesselring

4 Juuso Valimaki // 3 Josh Brown

70 Karel Vejmelka

39 Connor Ingram 

Scratched: Justin Kirkland

Injured: Matt Dumba (upper body), Barrett Hayton (upper body), Vladislav Kolyachonok (lower body), Travis Boyd (upper body), Troy Stecher (lower body)

Arizona lines courtesy

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