For the fourth game in a row, the Florida Panthers will be without veteran forward Patric Hornqvist as they are set to take on the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The 35-year-old suffered an undisclosed injury on Jan. 18 in a 6-1 loss to the Calgary Flames that began the team’s five-game road trip.
“Hornqvist is a big part of our team and we’re missing him,” Eetu Luostarinen said.
Since last Wednesday, Hornqvist has been designated as day-to-day with his injury.
He began skating on Thursday but is not well enough to go according to interim coach Andrew Brunette.
“We’ll kind of know more as we go on here,” Brunette said.
While Hornqvist isn’t the prolific goal scorer he was in years past, he has taken on a big role in both the leadership department and on Florida’s fourth line alongside Luostarinen and Ryan Lomberg.
After scoring 14 goals and 32 points last season, Hornqvist has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 37 games this year.
It has been his physicality and net-front presence that has made a big impact this season.
“He’s working hard and doing the right things,” Luostarinen said. “He’s a good netfront player and that’s a big part of our game, so that’s a good thing for our team.”
Tuesday’s game against the Jets will be the last of Florida’s five-game road trip out west, and they’re looking to end it on a good note.
They have a 2-2-0 record on the trip after their 5-3 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Sunday night.
“These are the hardest games of the road trip, just finding that energy” Brunette said. “I’m hoping after that Sunday performance and we’ll have to create our own fun and energy and in a building that won’t be completely full, that will be a challenge for us.”
Winnipeg currently restricts attendance to only 250 fans, so the building won’t have the same atmosphere teams are used to.
Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary allowed half capacity.
The team will need to stay focused and not let the change in energy level get to them if they want to take control of the game.
“I think our focus needs to be better and the understanding on this road trip is that we have not started the way we wanted to start a lot of those games,” Brunette said.
“Some of those games we were chasing the game a little bit, so for me it’s just our mindset coming in and getting to our game as quick as possible and sustaining it over 60 minutes.”
Morning Skate Updates
- Sergei Bobrovsky is starting in net against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday
- Maxim Mamin draws into the lineup for Frank Vatrano.
- Chase Priskie was called up from the taxi squad and will slot into the lineup for Matt Kiersted. Priskie was called up from AHL Charlotte to the taxi squad on Jan. 21.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT WINNIPEG JETS
- When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
- Where: Canada Life Center; Winnipeg, MB
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
- NHL Betting Odds from BetUS: Florida favored (Money Line -165) — (Puck Line -1.5 +145) — Over/Under 6.5 (Even/-120)
- Last season: Did not play
- All-time regular season series: Winnipeg/Atlanta Thrashers lead 50-29-8, 5 ties