Sgarbossa, acquired in a trade with Anaheim in November, has racked up 12 points (4G, 8A) in just 14 games for the Thunderbirds. But the 24-year-old has yet to put up significant numbers in the NHL; he had no goals and three assists in 19 games for the Ducks and Avalanche.
Sgarbossa, like Barkov, is a center. Florida hosts Montreal tonight. Barkov is not expected to play.
The Panthers should be a desperate team against a division rival. Coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to Toronto, Florida now sits three points back of third-place Boston in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers are even further back of the second wild-card spot, seven points shy of Philadelphia.
Florida can only hope that Barkov’s MRI brings good news.
“It’s tough. He’s a great player,” coach Tom Rowe told reporters. “He’s one of the best, if not the best two-way centermen in the league for his age group, so it’s a hard one to replace.”
Smith, meanwhile, has been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Dec. 22. That move cleared the necessary roster spot to add Sgarbossa.
Barkov remains on the active roster.