SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers will be without captain Sasha Barkov for a little bit interim coach Andrew Brunette revealed Wednesday morning.
Following a team practice at FLA Live Arena, Brunette said Barkov would be out “week to week right now.’’
Barkov was taken out of Tuesday’s game against the visiting New York Islanders on a knee-to-knee hit from defenseman Scott Mayfield.
Although Brunette said he did not think Mayfield’s hit was malicious, he did call it “reckless” and the consequence of it is Florida is out its best player for at least a little bit.
Barkov, who was careful not to put weight on his left leg as he left the ice Wednesday, was seen walking around by the team locker room following the game.
Brunette said surgery on the left knee is not needed.
“It is the best case scenario,’’ Brunette said. “It could have been worse. We’ll deal with it as we go. We’re going to evaluate as we go. As I said, week-to-week. We hope it is sooner.”
The Panthers are expected to activate Joe Thornton off IR today or Thursday as he was running the third line on Wednesday.
Sam Bennett was moved up to Barkov’s spot on the top line as he was reunited with Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair — the Sunrise 9-1-1 line from last season which had initial success upon Bennett’s trade from Calgary.