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Florida Panthers Star Defenseman to Miss Rest of Regular Season

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Ekblad panthers
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, pictured on Dec. 12, in Seattle, is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad will miss the rest of the regular season with an undisclosed injury, per coach Paul Maurice.

Maurice told reporters on Thursday that the team is “quite confident” that the star blueliner will return to the lineup by Game 1 of the playoffs.

Ekblad finishes the regular season with four goals and 18 points in 51 games played.

“This is not new and it’s not unknown to us, what it is,” Maurice said.

“He’s got a real good handle on how long it’s going to take. He’s progressing really well.”

Ekblad was four games removed from returning from a lower-body injury which cost him eight games on March 28.

He left in the middle of the team’s 5-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on April 2 after delivering a body check.

Josh Mahura will draw into the lineup for the Panthers on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators in Ekblad’s absence.

Uvis Balinskis, who was called up from AHL Charlotte on Wednesday, is also expected to play with the Panthers at some point, per Maurice.

For the most in-depth coverage of the Florida Panthers:

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ OTTAWA SENATORS

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Canadian Tire Center, Ottawa
  • 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, NHL App
  • Last Season: Florida won 2-1
  • This Season (Panthers Lead 2-0) — At Ottawa: Panthers 5, Senators 0 (Nov.27); Thursday. At Florida: Panthers 3, Senators 2 OT (Feb. 20); Tuesday.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Ottawa leads 57-46-5, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday at Boston, 3:30 (ABC)

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