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GameDay No. 56: Lines and Betting Odds for Panthers at Wild

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Florida Panthers Duclair
Anthony Duclair, pictured in a game last season against the Islanders, is now out of his no-contact practice jersey and could be back in the Florida Panthers lineup next week. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Florida Panthers will begin their second-to-last extended road trip of the season in St. Paul as they take on the Minnesota Wild tonight at 8.

The Panthers seem to have some help coming on the horizon as they enter their critical stretch run.

Anthony Duclair has shed the yellow, non-contact jersey and was a full participant in Monday’s morning skate.

While it is a big step in his recovery from a torn Achilles he suffered during the offseason, coach Paul Maurice said that it is likely that he does not return to the lineup until the team returns from this four-game road trip next week.

“I don’t see him playing on this road trip, but he will be very close when we get off it,” he said.

Grigori Denisenko, called up from AHL Charlotte on Sunday, will be back on the fourth line Monday.

“We really liked his last time up,” Maurice said. “He faded toward the end of the Pittsburgh game — that was a tough night for him — but then we had the issues with goaltending and there were cap reasons that he needed to go back down.

“But I liked what he did. He controls the puck and he is not afraid to make plays.”

Florida played a large chunk of its road schedule in January — going 4-3-2 in nine road games last month — but is looking forward to a change of scenery.

They have not gone on the road in three weeks and will stay in the state of Florida for the next four weeks once they return.

“We have an unusual schedule but we have had enough of a break off the road now that the guys are excited about it,” Maurice said.

“We have four games on this one and they are all going to be heavy, physical games. It’s good to be back on the road and we have paid for it a little bit so we know we are going to get rewarded.”

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The Panthers will play against four teams fighting for their playoff lives on this trip and that includes a Minnesota team that has been holding on for dear life as of late.

The Wild ended a three-game losing streak coming out of the All-Star Break on Monday and are currently holding onto the Western Conference’s final wild card spot in a tie with the Calgary Flames.

Florida, meanwhile, enters this road trip three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wildcard spot in the East.

“We are in that stretch where every game is so important,” Maurice said.

“We view these all as playoff games. When you win the game, you don’t get to enjoy it for three days, you gotta leave it there, and if you lose the game, you gotta do the exact same thing.”

PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT MINNESOTA WILD

  • When: Monday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
  • 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
  • DraftKings odds — Even: Money Line (-110/-110); Puck line (Wild -1.5, +225); Over/Under 6.5 (-120/+100)
  • Last season: Florida won 2-0
  • This season (Florida leads 1-0): Panthers 5, Wild 3 (Jan. 21)
  • All-time regular season series: Minnesota leads 18-9-2, 1 tie
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

15 Anton Lundell // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

94 Ryan Lomberg //27 Eetu Luostarinen // 21 Nick Cousins

14 Grigori Denisenko // 12 Eric Staal // 54 Givani Smith

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

62 Brandon Montour // 18 Marc Staal

28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

30 Spencer Knight

Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles), Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion)

Scratched: Casey Fitzgerald, Chris Tierney, Colin White

PROJECTED MINNESOTA WILD LINEUP

97 Kirill Kaprizov // 38 Ryan Hartman // 36 Mats Zuccarello

21 Brandon Duhaime // 14 Joel Eriksson Ek // 12 Matthew Boldy

18 Jordan Greenway // 89 Frederick Gaudreau // 17 Marcus Foligno

26 Connor Dewar // 15 Mason Shaw // 75 Ryan Reaves

5 Jacob Middleton // 46 Jared Spurgeon

25 Jonas Brodin // 24 Matthew Dumba

4 Jon Merrill // 2 Calen Addison

32 Filip Gustavsson

29 Marc-Andre Fleury

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