Florida Panthers Get Big Break On Injury Front Ahead Of Game 4

After leaving Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final following a hit along the boards, the Florida Panthers have announced, as hoped, that captain Aleksander Barkov will play in Game 4 Wednesday night. 

Barkov was a full participant in the team's morning skate ahead of tonight's game, and head coach Paul Maurice confirmed he would be "ready to roll" for puck drop. “Freshest guy on the ice,” Maurice added.

It's a big sigh of relief for the Panthers after Barkov left Game 3 before the end of the first period with a lower-body injury and never returned. It appeared that his knee took a hit, possibly against the boards, on an otherwise innocent-looking check from Jack Drury. 

The Cats' captain didn’t really move either leg while going to the bench after the hit.

Barkov has 12 points in 15 games during Florida's surprising run in these playoffs, following another strong season that featured 78 points in 68 games.

The Panthers lead the Hurricanes 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Final, as they continue their Cinderella chase for the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. 

Photo: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports