The Florida Panthers lost team leader and NHL superstar Aleksander Barkov to a late injury in Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins.
With less than two minutes left to play in the Panthers’ 4-2 loss, Barkov’s right foot slammed into the final fruits of the Florida offensive zone after contacting Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
INJURIES: Nikita Kucherov Tyson Barrie
Barkov remained on the ice for a few minutes before Panthers teammates Vincent Trotsky and Antonios Strallman helped him to hit the ice and head into the locker.
McAvoy, who appeared to train Barkov on the cards with his stick, received a minor penalty of two minutes for interfering with the game.
Florida coach Yoel Quenleville said after the game that Barkov “must be nice”, alleviating the concerns of Panthers fans. Any serious injury to Barkov (who has 36 points in 31 games this season) could jeopardize the team’s chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
The Panthers (15-12-2, 35 points) sit four points from a wild point after Saturday’s game with the following four teams playing each other and a playoff spot: Tampa Bay Lightning (35 points), Toronto Maple Leafs (36 points) ), New York Rangers (36 points) and Philadelphia Flyers (39 points).