Feb 7, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT
Veteran forward Alexei Kovalev will be a healthy scratch for the Panthers tonight in Philadelphia, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald.
Kovalev, who turns 40 in two weeks, has been mired in a funk since posting a one-goal, two-assist effort in Florida’s 5-1 season-opening victory against Carolina.
The Russian winger has just one point — a goal against Winnipeg — in eight games since and has posted a minus-4 rating over that time.
Slumping aside, it’s curious to note that head coach Kevin Dineen was still using Kovalev extensively over the last two weeks.
He played a season-high 21:22 in a loss to Ottawa on Jan. 24 and, in a 4-3 win over Buffalo on Sunday, played 17:33 — the only forwards to receive more ice time were Tomas Fleischmann and Stephen Weiss.
If Gudbranson can go, sounds like Keaton Ellerby will likely draw out of the lineup.
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