Wednesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Cats getting healthier for return match against Montreal

The Florida Panthers returned to practice yesterday and some of the injured brigade took part.

Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and Chris Tierney participated in yellow non-contact sweaters. Radko Gudas was in wearing a regular red (defenseman) sweater. Barkov was placed on a line with Carter Verhaeghe and Colin White while Gudas was paired with Josh Mahura.

Anthony Duclair and Patric Hornqvist, who remain on LTIR, joined practice late wearing red to get some skating in.

In other roster news, Matt Kiersted, who wasn’t at yesterday’s session (traveling) remains with the team after being sent down (paper transaction) to Charlotte on Saturday. The Cats reset Zac Dalpe and Tierney to the roster and recalled forward Anton Levtchi.

Levtchi, 27, has produced seven goals and 13 points in 24 games with the Checkers. This is his first season in North America. He could make his NHL debut Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens.

After Washington’s 4-0 shutout win over the New York Rangers, the Panthers are now nine points behind the Broadway Blueshirts for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand. They remain seven points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for third place in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning host the Canadiens tonight at Amalie Arena.

World Junior Championship

Defenseman Ludvig Jansson registered three shots on goal and finished with an even rating in Sweden’s 1-0 win over Germany in Halifax. Jansson logged 17:03 of ice time and took a holding minor for the second straight game.

Jakub Kos had a quiet game in Czechia’s 9-0 rout of Austria. Kos played 16:15, but failed to produce a point or shot on goal. The 19-year-old finished with an even rating, went 1 for 6 on faceoffs and was called for slashing with a 1:03 remaining in the game.

Sandis Vilmanis logged 19:41 of ice time and put one shot on goal as Latvia gained a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to Switzerland in Moncton. Vilmanis had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the fifth round, but missed wide on Swiss goaler Kevin Pasche. The 18-year-old took a cross-checking penalty in the third that was killed off and finished with an even rating.

Today’s games

Group A

Canada (0-1-0) vs Germany (0-1-0) 6:30 p.m. (NHL Network)

Group A

Slovakia (0-1-0) vs United States (1-0-0) 4 p.m. (NHL Network)