A game after getting their captain back, the Panthers will see the return of another defenseman as Erik Gudbranson returns from injury when Florida takes on the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre Monday night.
Gudbranson has missed the last five games after having orbital bone surgery after getting hurt on Dec. 20 in Winnipeg.
"I was told it was two-three week recovery. It's two weeks today so I feel ready to go," said Gudbranson following the morning skate at the Bell Centre. "It's fun to play. I'm excited to play."
The young gun will wear a cage as he continues to heal but that doesn't mean he'll change up his game.
"That shouldn't be an issue," said Gudbranson. "There's a couple of blind spots but I've worn it the past week skating so I've gotten pretty used to it."
Gudbranson will be paired with the Cats captain, Ed Jovanovski. The return of the pair of defensemen is only good things for the Cats.
"There's a progress for both of them coming back off an injury," said interim head coach Peter Horachek. "They've been out for a little while. One is going to wear a cage so that's always a little difficult…and Jovo is still coming off his first game so it's all progress. It's good to have them out there and it's good timing too."
"It goes back to my first year. I thought we played extremely well that year and it should be a seamless transition," said Gudbranson of being paired with Jovanovski. "We're both very vocal, we talk well on the ice and we've had that chemistry from that first year so making that transition, starting with him should be good."