SUNRISE, Fla. -- Goaltender Roberto Luongo will be celebrating his 35th birthday Friday by returning to action for the Florida Panthers.
Luongo was the first Panthers goalie off the ice at their morning skate in preparation for their game against the Calgary Flames at BB&T Center. Luongo has missed the past three games after being injured in a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on March 27.
Luongo said after practice Thursday he sustained a mild concussion as a result of his collision with Carolina forward Radek Dvorak. Luongo has a record of 4-5-1 with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage since coming back to the Panthers in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks on March 4.
Right wing Brad Boyes, who leads the team with 20 goals, will sit out after playing 3:17 in a 4-2 loss against the New York Islanders on Tuesday. Boyes went into the game nursing a sore back.
With Boyes out, forward Bobby Butler will make his season debut for the Panthers. He was called up Tuesday from San Antonio of the American Hockey League when Boyes and right wing Scottie Upshall (ankle) were question marks; Butler ended up being a healthy scratch. He was acquired by the Panthers in June from the Nashville Predators in a trade for defenseman TJ Brennan.
Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau, the 2013 Calder Trophy winner, will miss his 10th consecutive game with a concussion but could be back in the lineup soon. Coach Peter Horachek said Huberdeau could be back for a game against the Dallas Stars on Sunday afternoon or might have to wait until Tuesday when the Panthers host the Philadelphia Flyers.
Rookie forward Aleksander Barkov, who hasn't played since sustaining a knee injury in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, was on the ice before the Panthers' morning skate. Horachek said Barkov isn't likely to play again this season.
"Right now I'm not really considering him coming back in," Horachek said. "He could skate well and it could be a change of heart, but I think it's best that he just gets back skating, gets healthy, feels like he's ready to go and have a good summer."
Captain Ed Jovanovski was selected Friday morning by the Florida chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association as the team's nominee for the Masteron Trophy. Jovanovski made his season debut Jan. 4 after hip resurfacing surgery.
"The perseverance of that is incredible, where you are in your career, going through a surgery that I don't think anybody has ever returned from," Horachek said. "Coming back, working hard enough to get back and having the doctors clear you and to feel that it is healed and [he's] done a good job, you've got to give him a lot of credit and a lot of points for that."
The Flames, coming off a 4-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, had six players take the ice for an optional skate Friday.
Goalie Karri Ramo made 31 saves Thursday to beat his former team in his sixth consecutive start for the Flames, but he'll give way to Joey MacDonald. It will be MacDonald's first start since March 14, when he stopped 22 shots in a 4-3 shootout victory against the Dallas Stars.
Here are the projected lineups for the Flames and Panthers:
Mike Cammalleri – Mikael Backlund – Jiri Hudler
Curtis Glencross – Sean Monahan – Joe Colborne
Bryce Van Brabant – TJ Galiardi – Brian McGrattan
Kenny Agostino – Lance Bouma – Kevin Westgarth
Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie
Kris Russell – Chris Butler
Chad Billins – Christopher Breen
Scratched: Ben Hanowski, Mark Cundari, Paul Byron, Matt Stajan
Injured: Tyler Wotherspoon (shoulder), Markus Granlund (shoulder), Dennis Wideman (upper body), David Jones (shoulder)
Sean Bergenheim – Scott Gomez – Bobby Butler
Tomas Fleischmann – Vincent Trocheck – Scottie Upshall
Quinton Howden – Nick Bjugstad – Jesse Winchester
Krys Barch – Brandon Pirri – Jimmy Hayes
Brian Campbell – Dmitry Kulikov
Ed Jovanovski – Colby Robak
Dylan Olsen – Erik Gudbranson
Scratched: Scott Clemmensen
Injured: Tom Gilbert (sports hernia), Jonathan Huberdeau (concussion), Aleksander Barkov (knee), Tomas Kopecky (upper body), Alex Petrovic (upper body), Brad Boyes (back)