The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers will get a major boost when they take on the Washington Capitals tonight for Game One, Tuesday. Aaron Ekblad, who is one of the best defensemen in the league, is returning from injury.
Ekblad skated on the first defensive pairing for line rushes during the Panthers’ morning skate and also reclaimed his spot on the first unit power play. Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette confirmed Ekblad would suit up for Game One.
Here’s how the Panthers lined up per the Panthers’ Jameson Olive.
Verhaeghe – Barkov – Duclair
Huberdeau – Bennett – Giroux
Marchment – Lundell – Reinhart
Lomberg – Luostarinen – Hornqvist
Weegar – Ekblad
Forsling – Gudas
Chiarot – Montour
Ekblad was initially injured during a March 18 game against the Anaheim Ducks after a collision with Sasha Barkov. He crawled back to the bench after his first shift.
Aaron Ekblad may have suffered a significant injury to his right leg just 1:05 into the game in Anaheim. Was in clear pain, couldn't put any weight on it and had to be helped off. Appeared that Sasha Barkov lost his edge and inadvertently took his leg out.
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) March 19, 2022
The Panthers announced shortly after that Ekblad was out week-to-week due to a lower-body injury. The 26-year-old defenseman spent six weeks on injured reserve.
Ekblad had tallied a career-high 57 points in 61 games, averaging 24:55 of ice time per game.
Brunette also announced that Sergei Bobrovsky would start Game One against the Capitals.
“Bob’s our guy,” Andrew Brunette said.
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