Barkov status unclear for Panthers after injury in Game 2 of Cup Final

Barkov’s teammates said little about the play, with forward Matthew Tkachuk saying, “I have no answers or comments on this.” »

No matter how they feel about the game, losing Barkov for any game in the Finals would be a blow to the Panthers, who are looking for their first Stanley Cup championship.

Voted the Selke Trophy winner as the NHL’s top defensive forward this season, Barkov played a key role in shutting down Oilers superstar forwards Connor McDavid and Draisaitl over the course of two games. McDavid had an assist and three shots on goal in Game 2, and Draisaitl was held in check on two shots. Before the Oilers lost 3-0 in Game 1 on Saturday, McDavid (31 points; five goals, 26 assists) and Draisaitl (28 points; 10 goals, 18 assists) had combined for 59 points in 18 playoff games.

In fact, the NHL’s top three scorers in the playoffs – McDavid, Draisaitl and Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard (28 points; six goals, 22 assists) – combined for two assists in the final. Bouchard also had an assist on Monday.

Barkov had two shots on goal in 17:47 of ice time in Game 2 after having two assists in 21:06 of ice time in Game 1.

As the series moves to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4, the Oilers will have the final change and can try to get favorable matchups for the lines of McDavid and Draisaitl.

Forward Evan Rodrigues, who scored two goals in the third period Monday, liked the way the Panthers responded after seeing Barkov injured.

“I think we rallied,” Rodrigues said. “We did what we had to do to win the game. You never want to see your captain go down, but I thought everyone did a great job and focused and got the job done.”

Florida forward Kyle Okposo said: “I mean, yeah, obviously you don’t want to see anybody get hurt. But I think we did a good job of sticking with it. And we found a way. That was a huge goal from “Roddie” there to break the (power play) barrage there (to make it 3-1 at 12:26) and I just thought we did a great job in the third period after that.

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