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Florida Panthers Send Samoskevich Down at All-Star Break

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Samoskevich panthers
Florida Panthers rookie Mackie Samoskevich warms up before Wednesday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes in Sunrise. // Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

The Florida Panthers are sending Mackie Samoskevich back to their American Hockey League team in Charlotte as they take their NHL All-Star break.

Samoskevich, 21, was recalled last Sunday after Will Lockwood was suspended and met the Panthers in Nashville where he slotted in on the third line with Kevin Stenlund and Evan Rodrigues.

When Sasha Barkov returned from his lower-body injury Wednesday night against Arizona, Samoskevich got the chance to play with the Florida captain.

Samoskevich, Florida’s top prospect, had his best game with the Panthers against Nashville, taking three shots on 9:30 of ice time.

He increased that to over 12 minutes against Arizona but, with all the penalties Friday in Pittsburgh, saw his time drop as he is not part of Florida’s penalty kill.

On Saturday, coach Paul Maurice put Barkov back with Sam Reinhart midway through the game; Samoskevich played with Anton Lundell and Eetu Luostarinen on Florida’s usual third line.

He did draw a key penalty early in the third, getting tripped up as he flew past Samuel Bolduc.

Matthew Tkachuk scored on the ensuing power play by tipping a Barkov shot to give Florida a 2-1 lead.

With Nick Cousins and Lockwood likely back from concussions when Florida returns Feb. 6 against the Flyers, Samoskevich will have to wait to get another chance with the Panthers.

It probably will not be long.

“My original idea through all of this was to see Samoskevich play with Lundell and Luostarinen. That’s what I wanted to see when we brought him back up,” Maurice said Saturday night. “He is here and now he is trying stuff.

“You want a young guy to figure out what they can get away with, and what they cannot. We want him to get away with as much as he can, but there are certain rules you have to adhere to. This stint here, he was very good. He was more dynamic, tried more stuff. You see the confidence in him grow.”

ON DECK

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 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
  • Season Series — At Florida: Feb. 6; March 7. At Philadelphia: March 24.  
  • Last season: Philadelphia won 2-1
  • All-time regular season series: Philadelphia leads 57-37-6, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Feb. 8 vs. Washington, 7 p.m.

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