The Florida Panthers, already without Steve Kampfer on the blue line and Nick Bjugstad at center, lost fourth line center Derek MacKenzie to an apparent leg injury in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
The injury occurred when MacKenzie went to hit Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg early in the second period. He appeared to injure his leg on the hit, and had to be helped off the ice and down the tunnel. He was later ruled out of the rest of the game with a lower-body injury.
While the fourth line center is averaging just 12:41 of ice time per game, he’s been a steady part of the lineup while a rotating cast of wings have filtered through, including, most recently, veteran Jussi Jokinen and young Logan Shaw, who MacKenzie has served as something of a mentor to on the ice.
The loss of MacKenzie and Bjugstad on the team’s current four-game road trip would be a big loss. Bjugstad is not expected to rejoin the team at any point during the current road trip.
The team offered no update on MacKenzie’s status after the game.
The 34-year-old has three goals and five assists through 30 games this season.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.