The Florida Panthers lost defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in Saturday’s 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Kulikov took a hit along the boards during the game that sent him down the tunnel at the start of the second period. He wouldn’t return to the game.
Shortly after the hit, the team would announce that Kulikov was out for the duration of the game with what they termed a lower body injury.
It’s a tough break for a team who is trying to stay inside the playoff hunt and has had some injuries to contend with already this season. Alexander Barkov has missed significant time — and remains out, though he’s close to a return — and Jaromir Jagr missed a couple of games early on. Those were difficult injuries because they are a part of a top line that was clicking early on.
In 17 games this season, Kulikov has three assists and 28 shots, while averaging 18:44 of ice time per game.
With a -0.21% score-adjusted CF%Rel, he’s about even though he’s at 48.28% overall while absorbing a fair amount of defensive zone starts with a -4.29% ZSO%Rel.
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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.