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Barkov Returns To Practice With Team

Rookie center practice with team for first time since suffering injury Jan. 21st.
Friday, 01.31.2014 / 4:01 PM
By Glenn Odebralski - FloridaPanthers.com / Panthers Insider
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Barkov Returns To Practice With Team
Center Aleksander Barkov (Getty Images)

Rookie center Aleksander Barkov joined the team in Columbus Friday where he practiced with his teammates for the first time since suffering a lower body injury in Buffalo on Jan. 21st. It was a good sign to see the Flying Finn back on the ice with his teammates at Nationwide Arena.

"Our thought process with him really is we have got to make sure, he's 18-years old, he's in good position," said interim head coach Peter Horachek following practice as the team prepared to take on the Blue Jackets Saturday night. "(He'll) skate again tomorrow. I would guess we would be shooting for Tuesday."

Barkov has missed the last four games for the Panthers and despite missing those games is tied for second on the team with 24 points (8-16-24).

"He's cleared to play. First of all I just don't think that's enough time for him," said Horachek on why he will most likely return to the lineup Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the BB&T Center. "I'd like to make sure he's up to speed. (We're) looking after his best interests which is him."

Veteran center Scott Gomez has filled in nicely on the Killer B line with Brad Boyes and Sean Bergenheim during his absence, most recently combining to put Florida up 2-0 in Toronto on Thursday night. Horachek, however, says that Barkov's presence on that line has certainly been missed.

"Barky is a good player all over. He sees the ice really well. He's a bigger body. It's just different players," said Horachek. "I think Barky is at another level, that's why he's had success. The way that line created and I think Bergy and Boysie have something to do with that. They've continued to have a few chances as well."

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
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5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 44 15 12 1 27
J. Huberdeau 41 8 17 1 25
A. Ekblad 44 6 19 7 25
J. Jokinen 43 4 20 0 24
J. Hayes 36 13 7 1 20
B. Boyes 42 9 11 1 20
S. Bergenheim 33 7 9 4 16
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
D. Kulikov 39 1 12 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 17 10 8 .923 2.32
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .887 3.09
 
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