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Back in the lineup, Frank Vatrano wants to help the Florida Panthers

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Florida panthers
Frank Vatrano, center, is celebrated by his Florida Panthers teammates after assisting on a goal by Anton Lundell (forefront) in the first period of Saturday’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Vatrano is trailed by Brandon Montour and Lucas Carlsson. — Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

With the Florida Panthers as deep as they are at forward, there is always going to be one or two players left out of the lineup on any given night.

Over the past two months, more often than not, one of those players has been Frank Vatrano.

For the first time since he became a regular with the Panthers in 2018, Vatrano has found himself working as a scratch player trying to claw his way back into the lineup.

Add all of the trade rumors into the mix and it has been a tough time for a player who has become a fan favorite with the Panthers.

Before getting back into the lineup Thursday against Columbus, Vatrano had been scratched in nine of 12 games.

Through it all, Vatrano says he knew had to be ready when he went back in.

He certainly looked ready to go.

”It has been a tough situation but the boys have been playing good,” Vatrano told Florida Hockey Now on Monday.

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