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      Panthers’ Tkachuk to miss Saturday night against Capitals, Forsling in lineup

      Tkachuk and Forsling were injured against Carolina on Thursday.

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      Not necessarily the best news for one of the best teams in the NHL.

      After morning skate on Saturday, Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice revealed that forward Matthew Tkachuk will not play in the team’s game against the Washington Capitals.

      Maurice did say that defenseman Gustav Forsling will return to the lineup on Saturday. Both Tkachuk and Forsling left early in the Panthers’ 1-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday due to injuries.

      Tkachuk was hit hard in the first period by Andrei Svechnikov, and was sandwiched between him and defenseman Jaccob Slavin. Tkachuk was seen clutching his ribs before eventually leaving the game.

      Forsling left the game with an undisclosed injury.

      This will be the first time Tkachuk has missed a game all season, though the 26-year-old infamously played through a cracked sternum during the Stanley Cup Finals. Tkachuk has returned to help Florida hang near the top of the league standings.

      The Scottsdale, Arizona native was on a six-game point streak heading into Thursday. Through 57 games this season, Tkachuk has scored 20 goals and 45 assists, a little off his 100-point pace that he has been on over the past two seasons.

      Also on Saturday, Maurice pointed out that forward Kevin Stenlund will be a game-time decision. The 27-year-old did not participate in morning skate. Like Tkachuk, Stenlund has played in every game this season, his first full season in the NHL since he was with the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2020-21 campaign.

      The Panthers (37-16-4) are currently second in the Atlantic Division, two points back of the Boston Bruins for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

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