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Tuesday Caterwaul: Kulikov handed a two-game suspension

Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (7) Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the coconut of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Conor Sheary. Kulikov will miss Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators and Saturday’s tilt on the road versus the New York Rangers.

The incident occurred during the second period of Saturday’s 5-3 win for the Lightning.

With Josh Mahura already filling in for the injured Aaron Ekblad, the Panthers will have to dip deeper into the depth chart to replace Kulikov. Recent waiver claim Tobias Björnfot, who is already on the NHL roster, seems the most likely candidate to tag in.

In last night’s games, the Washington Capitals defeated the Calgary Flames by a 5-2 count to climb into the second wild card slot in the Eastern Conference, passing the idle Detroit Red Wings. The Buffalo Sabres continued to ascend the standings with a 6-2 win over the Seattle Kraken.

Tuesday in the Atlantic (Standings/Panthers Playoff Chances)

  • OTTAWA (28-34-4 60P) at BOSTON (40-14-15 95P) 7 p.m.
  • Columbus (23-34-11 57P) at DETROIT (34-28-6 74P) 7 p.m.
  • TORONTO (38-19-9 85P) at Philadelphia (34-26-8 76P) 7 p.m.
  • MONTREAL (25-31-11 61P) at Edmonton (40-21-4 84P) 9 p.m.
  • BUFFALO (33-31-5 71P) at Vancouver (42-18-8 92P) 10 p.m.
  • MONTREAL (25-30-11 61P) at Calgary (33-30-5 71P) 7 p.m.
  • TAMPA BAY (36-25-6 78P) at Vegas (36-24-7 79P) 10 p.m.

Idle: FLA (94P)