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Notebook: Sceviour, Malgin Return to Practice; Stars Shining Bright

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers plan to have a few extra bodies during their upcoming four-game road trip, as injured forwards Colton Sceviour and Denis Malgin both returned to practice on at BB&T Center on Tuesday morning and could potentially make their returns to the lineup later this week.

"Both guys are traveling," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said before the team boarded its long flight to the West Coast. "Both guys obviously practiced today and had contact. I thought they both looked good. We'll have to make a decision."

The Panthers will kick off their trip on Thursday in San Jose before finishing the week with back-to-back games against Los Angeles and Anaheim on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Boughner said that of the two players, Malgin is closest to game-ready, while Sceviour likely won't return until the weekend.

Florida has won each of its last two games, topping Minnesota and Detroit by a combined score of 12-3.

"We have to make decisions in our lineup," Boughner said. "We've played pretty well the last two games. Both will be active at some point in this trip."

Prior to being knocked out of the lineup with an upper-body injury on Feb. 9, Sceviour had been playing some his best hockey of the season, lighting the lamp in back-to-back overtime wins over Pittsburgh and Washington. In 49 games this season, the 29-year-old veteran has notched five goals and nine assists.

Sceviour's greatest contributions, however, come on the penalty kill, where he leads the club's forwards with an average of 2:08 of shorthanded ice time per game. Florida's solid penalty kill currently ranks 11th in the NHL with an 81 percent success rate, but has surrendered goals in three of the last four games.

"We miss him on the penalty kill," Boughner said. "Our penalty kill has dipped a little bit. It hasn't been major breakdowns, just at the end of power plays and things like that. It's just another body that helps fill that void... We miss his presence, for sure. He's an energy kind of guy."

Malgin, meanwhile, has been out of action since suffering a lower-body injury in a 6-1 win over the Kings on Feb. 23. In 46 games this season, the talented 22-year-old has posted seven goals and seven assists.

"Malgy was building a nice second half there until he got hurt," Boughner said. "He's a guy that when you play skill teams, that's when he's at his best. Different guys are different kind of players… Malgy finds his space and is obviously an offensive player."

Stay tuned to @FlaPanthers and @JamesonCoop on Twitter throughout the week for more updates.

STAR POWER

The Panthers saw two-thirds of their top line get some well-deserved recognition on Monday.

After leading the NHL with nine points (four goals, five assists) in four games - including a four-point performance against Minnesota on March 8 -- Jonathan Huberdeau was named the league's "First Star of the Week," beating out Stars goaltender Ben Bishop and Ducks winger Troy Terry for the top spot.

Video: Huberdeau, Bishop, Terry named 3 Stars of the Week

Meanwhile, Huberdeau's center, team captain Aleksander Barkov, was tapped by the NHLPA as their player of the week after registering nine points (two goals, seven assists) in four games. In the same game against the Wild Huberdeau posted four points, Barkov set a franchise record with five assists.

Barkov also hit two milestones, achieving his first 30-goal season and playing in his 400th NHL game.

"I guess we're getting the bounces even more," Huberdeau said. "I think confidence helps a lot… The past two games, we didn't play in our zone that much. I think it makes it so much more fun to play. It's not only us. A lot of guys on our team are going, so that's what makes the games even more fun."

Although he didn't receive national attentions like his linemates, it's important to also take a moment to recognize the major contributions of the third and final piece of Florida's top line, Evgenii Dadonov, who produced at better than a point-per-game pace this past week, racking up five assists in four contests.

"Obviously Barky's the best player, but Daddy adds a lot to our line," Huberdeau said. "He's a guy that's really fast. He can make a lot of good plays and is a good shooter. I obviously like to play with these two guys. We got the awards, but Daddy could have gotten one as well."

Barkov, 23, leads the Panthers with 77 points (30 goals, 47 assists), needing just one more point to match the career-high 78 he finished with last season. As for Huberdeau, the 25-year-old has already reached a new career-high point total this season, posting 74 points (22 goals, 52 assists) in 69 games.

With just two more assists, Huberdeau will surpass Viktor Kozlov's single-season franchise record of 53.

"Obviously it's fun," Huberdeau said. "Every year, I've been improving. That's what you want to see in your career. That said, it's more about the team… It's about having fun playing. It's nice to help the team offensively. We want to be winning and have a chance to make the playoffs ever year."

Ready for Our Close Up

The Florida Panthers held team photo day yesterday. We mic'd up Aaron Ekblad to listen in.

Video: 2018-19 Florida Panthers Team Picture Day

TUESDAY'S PRACTICE LINES

Forwards

Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Evgenii Dadonov

Frank Vatrano - Vincent Trocheck - Mike Hoffman

Dryden Hunt - Riley Sheahan - Troy Brouwer

Jamie McGinn - Henrik Borgstrom - Jayce Hawryluk

Extras: Colton Sceviour, Denis Malgin

Defense

Mike Matheson - Aaron Ekblad

Keith Yandle - MacKenzie Weegar

Mark Pysyk - Josh Brown

Extras: Ian McCoshen

Goalies

Sam Montembeault

James Reimer

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