EDMONTON -- Aleksander Barkov played for the Florida Panthers against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on Thursday.

Barkov's status had been uncertain after he took a high hit from Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl in the third period of a 4-1 win in Game 2 on Tuesday. The hit caused the Panthers' top forward and captain to miss the final 9:28 of the game.

Barkov did not speak to the media on Thursday after participating in the morning skate, but his teammates were happy that he was likely to be in the lineup.

"He's the leader of our group," forward Sam Reinhart said. "It's never easy when someone like that goes down in a huge part of the game with nine or 10 minutes left. The group stepped up and rallied around it. I think it shows to the character of him and how bad he wants it to get back as well."

Draisaitl received a minor penalty for roughing on the hit on Barkov.

"First of all, I think we all know I'm not a player who plays with an intent to injure anybody by any means," Draisaitl said Thursday. "I have no track record of that. I'm not a player who enjoys that part of the game, injuring other players or anything like that.

"I caught him in an unfortunate spot. So, yeah, I'll leave it at that. Can't stress enough I'm not someone who plays the game of hockey wanting to injure anybody."

The Panthers lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

Panthers teammates, coach praise Barkov's high standard of play

Barkov touches every element of the Panthers' game at 5-on-5 and on special teams. He's tied with Matthew Tkachuk for the Panthers lead with 19 points (six goals, 13 assists), which includes the two assists he had in Florida's 3-0 win in Game 1.

He won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL for the second time this season and has been a key part of trying to shut down shutting down Oilers superstar forwards Connor McDavid and Draisaitl through two games.

McDavid had one assist and three shots on goal in Game 2, and Draisaitl was held without a point on two shots. Before the Oilers lost 3-0 in Game 1 on Saturday, McDavid (31 points; five goals, 26 assists) and Draisaitl (28 points; 10 goals, 18 assists) had combined for 59 points through 18 playoff games.

Barkov likely won't be used in as much of a shut-down role in Game 3 with Edmonton being able to dictate the matchups with the last line change, something that should get their top scorers away from the Barkov line with Reinhart, who scored 57 goals in the regular season, and Evan Rodrigues, who has three goals in the first two games.

Maurice said he is OK in deploying Barkov in more of an offensive role.

"At home, a lot of nights he is going to play against the McDavids of the world, or other great players because there aren't any other McDavids in the world," Maurice said. "Then you get on the road, maybe you look at [Barkov] a little differently. You look at the offensive side of his game.

"Yes, there is the give and take. We would lose the Selke-ness against possibly the other teams but we are getting a guy that is a point-per-game-plus guy and a guy that has scored 57 [goals]. There's the give and take for both teams."