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Tkachuk, Forsling Leave Florida Panthers Game in First at Carolina



Gus Forsling and Matthew Tkachuk did not start the second period for the Florida Panthers at Carolina on Thursday. // AP photos

The Florida Panthers were without two of their top players — forward Matthew Tkachuk and defenseman Gus Forsling — to start the second period Thursday against the host Carolina Hurricanes.

Forsling, arguably Florida’s top defenseman, left the game with 6:51 remaining in the opening period and went to the team’s room in Raleigh.

Tkachuk took a hit in the corner from Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov with about 2 minutes left in the period.

He was on the bench talking with trainer Dave DiNapoli but did not return to start the second.

Tkachuk appeared to take a hard hit to his shoulder.

He was seen favoring that left shoulder as he tried to skate around.

Tkachuk sustained a fractured sternum in Game 3 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.

With the setup at PNC Arena, the visitors’ room is not connected to the bench — so instead of heading back right away, he waited until the end of the period and went out the corner exit with the rest of his teammates.

Neither played in the second period.

The Panthers made it official before the third that both would not return to the game.

Coach Paul Maurice said in the postgame that both players are considered day-to-day and would be evaluated when the team is back in South Florida on Friday.

Florida fell short in its attempt to tie the NHL record for consecutive road wins; Sebastian Aho broke a scoreless game with 18.9 seconds remaining to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 win.

Florida had won 11 straight road games dating to Dec. 27 in Tampa.



  • When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • 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
  • This Season (Florida Leads 2-0) — At Washington: Panthers 4, Capitals 3 OT (Nov. 8). At Florida: Panthers 4, Capitals 2 (Feb. 8); Saturday. 
  • Last Season: Panthers won 3-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Washington leads 67-47-13, 9 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.

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