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Jonathan Huberdeau of Florida Panthers is NHL First Star of the Week

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Huberdeau panthers first star
Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau was named the NHL First Star of the Week after scoring a goal with nine points in three comeback wins for the Panthers. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

CORAL SPRINGS — Jonathan Huberdeau had a big week with the Florida Panthers and he was so honored as the NHL First Star of the Week.

Huberdeau, 28, was instrumental in Florida’s three comeback wins this past week by scoring a goal with nine points in those games.

He had five points in the 7-4 win over Buffalo on Thursday.

Huberdeau was joined byTampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman and Pittsburgh left wing Jake Guentzel.

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“It’s fun to see,’’ interim coach Andrew Brunette said Monday. “The past three games, he has had the puck on a string. There are not many players in the league as much fun to watch as he is.”

Huberdeau leads the Panthers with 29 points in 24 games and is second on the team behind Anthony Duclair with eight goals.

— The Panthers had Sasha Barkov, Duclair and Gus Forsling back at practice on Monday morning with Brunette saying Barkov and Forsling could be activated off IR and play Tuesday in St. Louis.

FHN Today: Sam Reinhart heating up with the Florida Panthers

Barkov was back centering a top line with Carter Verhaeghe and Maxim Mamin; Duclair was running on a fifth line meaning it is less likely he returns until Friday’s game in Arizona.

— To make room on the roster for the likely activation of Barkov and Forsling, Aleksi Heponiemi and Matt Kiersted were returned to AHL Charlotte.

— The Panthers remain tied for second at FanDuel as Stanley Cup favorites at +900 tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning and behind Colorado (+600) who Florida will play Sunday night. NHL betting odds

— Florida also had defenseman Olli Juolevi at practice and it appears he could be active for the first time this season.

To make room for him, the Panthers placed Kevin Connauton on waivers. If he passes, Connauton will go to Charlotte.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT ST. LOUIS BLUES

  • WHEN: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
  • WHERE: Enterprise Center, St. Louis 
  • TV/STREAMING: Bally Sports Florida
  • RADIO: WQAM 560
  • Last season: Did not play
  • NHL betting odds via FanDuel

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