Kyle Okposso FLA lineup changes tune in

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Kyle Okposo could reenter the lineup for the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers at Amerant Bank Arena on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ESPN, SN, TVAS, CBC).

Okposo replaced Nick Cousins at right wing on the fourth line during the morning skate. The 36-year-old hasn't played since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Boston Bruins on May 14.

The Panthers trail the best-of-7 conference final 2-1 and alluded to another potential change with Steven Lorentz skating to the left of center Kevin Stenlund in place of Ryan Lomberg. Lorentz also has not played since May 14, a 2-1 loss on home ice.

"It's not as drastic a change as you might think,'' Florida coach Paul Maurice said. "When we make changes like that -- it might be one [forward], it may be both -- some of it is health, some of it is they look different. It's an offensive zone thing that both guys do. It is not the tipping point; it is not going to put your team over the edge. Sometimes, with the energy and excitement, you put new players in, and they give you a boost."

Okposo is in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since he helped the New York Islanders advance to the 2016 second round, a five-game loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Florida acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres prior to the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline on March 8. He has two assists in eight postseason games after not getting a point in six regular-season games.

"I am excited,'' Okposo said. "There is an excitement with four teams left, one game a night. You know that everybody is watching, and not that it adds anything, but we're the only game, and we have seven more wins to get the ultimate prize. But the next game is the most important one. I am excited to be a part of it."