Like most of his teammates, Jaromir Jagr took Wednesday off from skating.
After leaving Tuesday night’s 4-1 victory over visiting Colorado in the first period with an apparent groin injury, that was expected.
Now, the question becomes, when will Jagr return to the Panthers?
Coach Gerard Gallant said it shouldn’t be too long, and he could return for this weekend’s games against Boston and/or Washington.
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“He’s day-to-day, don’t think it will be too long, obviously,” Gallant said after a light skate Wednesday in which just the fourth forward line, four defensemen and backup goalie Al Montoya took part.
Jagr left the game after his fourth shift. He basically skated on and quickly off, as it was officially a six-second shift.
Gallant said Jagr could have returned to the game but there really was no reason to force it.
Florida has played just nine of its 82 games; no reason to rush what could be a potentially lingering issue with its leading scorer.
“We talk to Jagr all the time and tell him if he wants a day off, take a day off,” Gallant said.
“He knows his body but wants to be on the ice all the time. He has maintenance days and hopes he uses more than he doesn’t. Was he thinking about coming back [Tuesday]? Yes, he was. But when you look at it, why come back and make it worse?”
The Panthers rallied around not having Jagr or center Sasha Barkov (hand) against the Avalanche and became the first team this season and fourth since last season to go 3 for 3 on the power play.
Florida led 1-0 at the first intermission, then led 2-0 early in the third after Vincent Trocheck scored for the second time. The Panthers added a pair of goals in the third for some breathing room and their second victory in a row.
Colorado didn’t score its lone goal until the final minute.
“Every single guy in this locker room can score; we have a very talented team,” Trocheck said.
“Points, goals will come when you have the opportunities, if you do the right things. Everyone is going to contribute. You can’t wait for the opportunity to come to you, you have to go and get it.”
Jussi Jokinen was the first winger to slide into Jagr’s spot alongside Nick Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau on Tuesday and said the Panthers are talented enough to survive the loss of a player or two.
“It’s tough when you see your top guys go down, but you just need more from everyone else,” said Jokinen, whose pretty pass led to Reilly Smith’s goal that made it 3-0.
“You have to do the little things better, bear down. We got a great effort from everyone Tuesday, and we have to keep getting that. Guys like Trocheck are getting more minutes, Derek MacKenzie played great and played more. We need that going forward as these points are huge.”
▪ Roberto Luongo suffered cramps from dehydration late in Tuesday’s game but stayed in until the end and got replenished afterward.
“I didn’t know if he tweaked a knee or something, but it was just cramps,” Gallant said. “He got through the game, got an IV. He’s fine; no issues there.”
▪ The Panthers’ power play, which set a franchise record for fewest goals and worst percentage two seasons ago, is currently ranked fourth in the league. Florida has scored on 27.3 percent of its chances.
“[Coach] Mike Kelly has done a great job with us,” Brian Campbell said. “He implemented what he wanted to do at the All-Star break last year and we’ve gone on from there. We’re learning how to take advantage of things. We just have to execute it.”
▪ Florida is expected to recall winger Logan Shaw, 23, from its AHL affiliate in Portland, Maine on Thursday.
Shaw, 23, could make his NHL debut Friday against the Boston Bruins or Saturday against the Washington Capitals.