Status of Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov in question for Game 3

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov’s availability for Game 3 is in question after he received a high hit from Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl midway into the third period of Monday’s game.

Barkov, a forward, sat out the final 9:28 of the Panthers’ 4-1 victory in Sunrise, Fla. The Panthers hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game 3 in Edmonton on Thursday.

“He wasn’t worse, so that’s a really good thing,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday. “But if he continues to progress, we should be in good shape.”

Maurice stopped short of saying whether Barkov would travel to Edmonton, however.

“We had some things that needed to be looked at today that got looked at. There’s nothing sinister there. He kind of passed that. He felt better today. Feels good. But you’ve got to give it another 24 hours to make sure that he feels strong.”

Draisaitl was assessed a roughing penalty on the play and could face additional discipline from the NHL.

“I don’t think there was anything dirty about it,” Draisaitl said of the hit on Monday. “I don’t know, maybe I got him a little high, but certainly not any intent to injure or anything like that.”

Barkov, 28, was voted the Selke Trophy winner as the best defensive forward this season, marking the second time he has won the award. He also received the honor for the 2020-21 season.

He recorded 80 points (23 goals, 57 assists) in 73 games during the regular season. He has 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 19 playoff games.