Jan 5, 2014, 3:14 PM EST
The Florida Panthers have high hopes that defenseman Erik Gudbranson will return to their lineup as soon as Monday.
George Richards of the Miami Herald hears from Panthers coach Peter Horachek about the big blue-liner’s status.
“We’re hopeful he could play on this trip, as early as Monday,” Horachek said. “He’ll have to wear the cage because of the surgery. You can’t risk a direct hit.”
Gudbranson has been out with an orbital bone injury and will wear a cage on his helmet when he returns. He last played on December 20 against Winnipeg and has missed five games. The Panthers have gone 2-2-1 in his absence.
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Ovechkin’s great big year of disappointment 4
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Kings win Cup, Martinez the OT hero 0
- Welcome to PHT’s top 14 stories for 2014 0
- Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’ 23
- Sharks’ Scott has hearing for his punch to Jackman 29
- (Video) PHT Extra: Christmas wish lists from around the NHL 2
- PHT interviews Don Maloney, who knows he has a big trade chip in Vermette 7
- Backstrom to start for Wild, who need their goalies to be ‘better’ 13
- NHL on NBCSN: Avs challenge Blues after narrow losses to St. Louis 6
- Gaudreau’s first hat trick helps Flames stun Kings 7
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (75)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)
- Panthers hold off Penguins for shootout win (42)