Panthers’ Barkov leaves G3 with lower-body injury

Panthers' Barkov leaves G3 with lower-body injury

SUNRISE, Fla. — Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov left the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night with a lower-body injury.

He was listed by the team as questionable but did not return in the Panthers’ 1-0 win.

Coach Paul Maurice did not have an update on Barkov’s status after the victory.

Barkov missed the final 7:04 of the opening frame. He exited to the Panthers’ dressing room after taking a hip check from Carolina forward Jack Drury on his last recorded shift. The play appeared innocuous at the time but could have caused some measure of discomfort for Barkov.

The Panthers — now up 3-0 in the series — entered the second period without one of their top centers. Barkov has four goals and 12 points in 14 postseason games and is one of the club’s top faceoff forwards. He had two goals and an assist in the first two games of this series.

In Barkov’s absence, Eetu Luostarinen moved up to center Florida’s top line.

Game 4 is on Wednesday.