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Gus Forsling Says He is ‘100 Percent,’ Back with Florida Panthers Tonight



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Florida Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling smiles as he celebrates his empty-net goal against the Arizona Coyotes with defenseman Aaron Ekblad, center Sasha Barkov and forward Sam Reinhart Jan. 2 in Tempe. The Panthers won 4-1. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

FORT LAUDERDALE — Gus Forsling said he was “100 percent’’ after leaving Thursday’s game in Carolina early. The top-pair defenseman returns to the Florida Panthers lineup tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Matthew Tkachuk also left that game in Raleigh early.

Tkachuk was the second player on the ice for Saturday’s morning skate after Sergei Bobrovsky but will be held out tonight for precautionary reasons.

Forsling appeared to get his skate stuck between the boards on a hit during the first period and went to get checked out with about 6 minutes left in the first.

He was held out for the remainder of the game as a precaution.

“It is always tough to leave a game but sometimes, you have to be smart,” Forsling told FHN following Saturday’s skate at the IcePlex. “It was a smart decision, the right decision, looking back. I got some work in yesterday and I am 100 percent ready to go. I did a little rehab and I am all good.”

Tkachuk is not the only player missing from the Florida lineup on Saturday.

Kevin Stenlund missed the skate due to illness with coach Paul Maurice saying it is possible he plays.

It does appear, however, that Steven Lorentz will replace Stenlund on the fourth line with Will Lockwood filling in for Tkachuk.

Maurice seriously mixed up his lines Thursday — at one point, Sasha Barkov was centering Ryan Lomberg and Jonah Gadjovich.

On Saturday, Evan Rodrigues moved up to the first line; Carter Verhaeghe returned to the second and Lomberg moved up to the third.

Washington will be without T.J. Oshie after he was hurt Thursday in Tampa.

The Capitals have won three straight games and have points in five of six as they have pulled within 5 points of the Lightning for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

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“Our last game was a real battle and now Washington comes here in the same kind of position we were at this time last year,” Forsling said of the resurgent Caps. “They are out of the playoffs, but have won (three) in a row and are feeling good about things. They want to get a win here. We expect battle here tonight.”

The starting goalies will be Anthony Stolarz for the Panthers with it appearing Washington will bring back Charlie Lindgren after he won in Tampa.




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

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett //21 Nick Cousins

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

12 Jonah Gadjovich // 18 Steven Lorentz // 67 Will Lockwood

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson// 7 Dmitry Kulikov

41 Anthony Stolarz

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Josh Mahura

Injured: Matthew Tkachuk (upper body), Kevin Stenlund (illness)


8 Alex Ovechkin // 17 Dylan Strome // 72 Pierrick Dube

67 Max Pacioretty // 24 Connor McMichael // 39 Anthony Mantha

96 Nicolas Aube-Kubel // 21 Aliaksei Protas // 15 Sonny Milano

47 Beck Malenstyn // 23 Mike Sgarbossa // 43 Tom Wilson

57 Trevor van Riemsdyk // 74 John Carlson

38 Rasmus Sandin // 3 Nick Jensen

6 Joel Edmundson // 25 Ethan Bear

79 Charlie Lindgren

35 Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Alexander Alexeyev

Injured: T.J. Oshie (lower body), Martin Fehervary (lower body), Nic Dowd (upper body)

Washington Capitals lines courtesy

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