SUNRISE — These have been a tough couple of days for the Florida Panthers.
Less than 24 hours after the team suffered its worst loss in a long time, the Panthers announced a total of five players and a member of the traveling party had been placed in Covid-19 protocols.
All five players will be unavailable for Thursday’s game against the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
With the Panthers right up against the salary cap, options for recalls from the team’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte will be limited.
Without calling anyone up, the Panthers are really going to be shorthanded.
Florida is not expected to activate Sasha Barkov nor Mason Marchment off IR in time for Thursday’s game, so the Panthers are currently down two forwards and a defenseman.
A recall of Matt Kiersted or Chase Priskie gives Florida a sixth defenseman; there are a number of forwards who could come up as well although it still appears that the Panthers may not be able to dress a full roster on Thursday night.
If Florida was to get a couple more players placed in the Covid protocol, Thursday’s game could be postponed.
The NHL has seen a number of games postponed already. The Ottawa Senators, who beat the Panthers 8-2 on Tuesday night, had three games moved because of a Covid outbreak; the Calgary Flames are currently on pause because so many players and coaches are in the protocol.
Florida announced Wednesday that Radko Gudas, Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Bennett and Brandon Montour joined Ryan Lomberg in the protocol.
The Panthers are scheduled to have a morning skate at FLA Live Arena and who will be joining the team from Charlotte should be known then.
The Checkers played the second of a back-to-back against the Rochester Americans on Wednesday, winning 4-2. Charlotte beat the Amerks 11-1 on Tuesday night.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
LOS ANGELES KINGS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m.
- WHERE: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/STREAMING: Bally Sports Florida
- RADIO: WQAM 560
- Last season: Did not play