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Grigori Denisenko Called Up by Vegas, Faces Florida Panthers



Grigori Denisenko, pictured on Feb. 16, 2023 in Washington, returns to the NHL tonight as the Vegas forward faces his former Florida Panthers teammates. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Florida Panthers will get to say hello to old pal Grigori Denisenko tonight when they visit the Vegas Golden Knights.

Denisenko, Florida’s first-round pick in 2018, was recalled by the Knights and is expected to be on their fourth line tonight.

He has not played in an NHL game since, coincidentally, Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

It was the only playoff game Denisenko played in for the Panthers.

The Panthers are back in Vegas for the first time since that Cup Final loss.

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“It was incredible,” Denisenko told FHN on clean out day. “Obviously I had not played for a month being a part of the Black Aces, but it was a good experience for me. It was an incredible atmosphere, something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Denisenko ended up re-signing with the Panthers — but he did not make the team out of training camp.

The Panthers placed him on waivers where he was claimed by Vegas.

It appeared the Panthers lost him while trying to sneak him through to Charlotte.

But then, the Knights put him right back on waivers to get him to their AHL team in nearby Henderson.

Florida had the right to recall him but did not.

“This is a big season upcoming for me,” Denisenko said prior to the start of training camp. “I worked hard this summer to prepare for it. The two-year (contract) is a good deal and means a lot to me. I hope it leads to a good start in the NHL.

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“The playoffs were a good experience for me, it was a big thing for me. It gave me a lot of confidence and was a good first step. Now I need a good camp and good preseason to get me ready for this season.”

Denisenko remained with the Henderson Silver Knights until today.

He is leading that team in scoring with 12 goals and 30 points.

Denisenko certainly deserved this call-up — and it comes against his former mates.

As for the Panthers, there will be one lineup change tonight as Jonah Gadjovich gets back in for the first time since Dec. 8 as Nick Cousins will be out after going into concussion protocol following being boarded by Arizona’s Jason Zucker.

Sergei Bobrovsky will be the starting goalie for the Panthers; Logan Thompson goes for the Knights.

The Knights will be without two of their key pieces tonight as William Karlsson is on IR with a lower-body injury; Keegan Kolesar is out with an illness.

Vegas has lost five of six including a 3-0 shutout at the Winter Classic in Seattle.

Florida has won a season-tying five straight.



  • When: Thursday, 10 p.m.
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 96.5 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Local Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-120); Puck line (-1.5, +195); Over/Under 6.5 (+100/-120)
  • Season Series (Panthers Lead 1-0) — At Florida: Panthers 4, Knights 2 (Dec. 23). At Vegas: Thursday.
  • Last Regular Season: Even 1-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Golden Knights lead 6-4-1
  • Postseason History — 2023 Stanley Cup Final: Vegas d. Florida 4-1
  • Up Next for the Florida Panthers: Saturday at Colorado, 4 p.m.


17 Evan Rodrigues // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

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

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell  // 94 Ryan Lomberg

12 Jonah Gadjovich //82 Kevin Stenlund // 67 Will Lockwood

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Josh Mahura, Steven Lorentz

Injured: Nick Cousins (concussion)


49 Ivan Barbashev // 9 Jack Eichel // 81 Jonathan Marchessault

16 Pavel Dorofeyev // 20 Chandler Stephenson // 61 Mark Stone

43 Paul Cotter // 10 Nicolas Roy // 28 William Carrier

54 Grigori Denisenko // 22 Michael Amadio // 21 Brett Howden

14 Nicolas Hague // 7 Alex Pietrangelo

3 Brayden McNabb // 2 Zach Whitecloud

23 Alec Martinez // 94 Brayden Pachal

36 Logan Thompson

30 Jiri Patera

Injured: William Karlsson (UBI), Keegan Kolesar (illness)

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