SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers could be getting one of their high-profile players off the injured list this week as Sam Bennett is close to a return.
Although Bennett did not practice with the Panthers on Monday, he did take part in a hard skate earlier in the day.
Coach Paul Maurice said Bennett could practice with the team on Thursday and Friday; if all things go well, he could be cleared from the foot/ankle injury sustained in a preseason game at Tampa on Oct. 5 and play Saturday night against the visiting Kraken.
Bennett was seen leaving the team locker room the day after the Lightning game wearing a walking boot but Maurice said it was a different injury than what Bennett got during the playoffs.
The Panthers could also soon be gaining the services of Jonah Gadjovich, who has been out since being injured last season with the San Jose Sharks.
Gadjovich, 25, signed an AHL contract with the Charlotte Checkers in July but got a one-year, one-way deal with Florida last week.
A veteran of 79 NHL games with Vancouver and San Jose, Gadjovich skated as a member of the Panthers throughout training camp and the preseason.
STOLARZ GETS FIRST START
As expected, backup goalie Anthony Stolarz will get his first start with the Panthers tonight against the Sharks.
Sergei Bobrovsky (2-3-0) had started the first five games of the season.
“Sergei has had two or three really good games where he looks like midseason form,” Maurice said.
— Tonight’s game has an odd start time of 7:45 as the NHL has all 32 teams in action with start times of each staggered by 15 minutes.
ESPN will air three of the games — starting with Toronto/Washington at 6 — along with an NFL RedZone-type special (the Frozen Frenzy) on ESPN+ starting at 7 and moving to ESPN2 at 8.
John Buccigross and former Panthers goalie Kevin Weekes will host the Frozen Frenzy.
PANTHERS ON DECK
SAN JOSE SHARKS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Tuesday, 7:45 p.m.
- Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5 FM-2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932; NHL App
- Last season: Florida won 2-0
- This season: Tuesday @ Florida; @ San Jose, Nov. 14
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 21-13-1, 7 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Seattle, 6 p.m.