Florida Panthers Forward Returns To Lineup After Missing 13 Games With Injury

Florida Panthers' center Sam Bennett is set to make his return to the lineup for Game 2 against the Boston Bruins after sitting out for 13 games due to a soft-tissue injury.

He had been working hard towards recovery and recently participated in his first full workout with his teammates in weeks during Florida's morning skate in Boston.

Assuming there are no further complications, Bennett will be playing on the second line alongside Eetu Luostarinen and superstar right wing Matthew Tkachuk.

His return has a positive impact on the team's forward ranks, as Anton Lundell can now fill the third-line center position and Eric Staal moves to the fourth line, strengthening all four lines and making the Panthers a more formidable opponent in the playoffs.

Prior to his injury, Bennett had been playing well, recording two goals, three assists, and 26 shots in his previous seven games. His regular-season statistics of 16 goals and 40 points in 63 games illustrate his value to the Panthers, and his comeback should enhance their prospects in the playoffs.

Bennett's absence was felt during the Panthers' losing streak, but the team managed to turn things around and qualify for the playoffs with a 6-1-1 record.

His return, coupled with the absence of Patrice Bergeron due to injury on the Bruins' side, makes a series split between the two teams a realistic possibility.

It remains to be seen how quickly Bennett will get back into form after such a lengthy absence. Photo Credit: Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports