The Florida Panthers’ fight to make the playoffs just got harder. The club announced today that center Aleksander Barkov has been placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with an undisclosed injury.
Barkov was hurt in Wednesday’s shootout loss to Toronto. He did not play in Thursday’s overtime loss to Montreal.
The 21-year-old is the Panthers’ leading scorer with 27 points (9G, 18A).
“It’s tough. He’s a great player,” coach Tom Rowe told reporters after the injury. “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.”
The Panthers’ next game is Saturday in Dallas. After that, they return home for three games against Winnipeg, Nashville, and Boston.
Florida (15-14-8) is currently four points back of Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division.