The top line of Jaromir Jagr, Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau was one of the most potent in hockey this season, scoring 75 goals with 184 points for the Panthers.
And although those three have had plenty of offensive chances this postseason, the numbers haven’t been there.
In three playoff games, Barkov has a goal with an assist; Huberdeau has two assists while Jagr has yet to reach the scoresheet.
The consensus is it’s only a matter of time before these three break out.
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The Panthers sure would like it to be Wednesday as Florida visits the Islanders for Game 4 of their best-of-7 series at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Islanders hold a 2-1 lead.
“We have a lot of shots but we need to get around the net a lot more,’’ said Barkov, who got the trio’s first goal in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss and leads the team with 19 shots on goal. Huberdeau -- who had a goal waved off by an early whistle Sunday -- is second with 16.
“Their goalie is real good, he stops a lot of shots but there are rebounds we need to get to. We have to get there, be hungrier in front.’’
The top line combination has as many chances as Florida’s second line, the one with Reilly Smith leading all postseason scorers with four goals and eight points and Nick Bjugstad and Jussi Jokinen also providing scoring.
Yet the puck hasn’t found its way past Thomas Greiss as they hoped and need it to.
Jagr, for instance, could have four goals already. In the opener, Jagr had a chance to tie the score with 30 seconds left and was stopped by Greiss. Sunday, he had open chances and couldn’t bury it.
“It has to come and it could be in the next game,’’ Barkov said. “You know Jagr is going to score.’’
Although Jagr hasn’t scored in 34 postseason games dating to 2012, few on the team are worried that will continue too much longer.
Huberdeau, for one, was surprised to even hear about such a drought.
“Sometimes that’s the way it is,’’ Jagr said. “Sometimes you’re hot and whatever you touch goes in, sometimes it goes the other way. That’s the toughest thing. You can’t get frustrated when things don’t go the right way. It’s tough for me, and I’ve played 25 years.’’
Said Huberdeau: “We’re generating a lot of chances but at some point, they’ve got to go in. We have to find a way to help the team offensively and we know it’s coming. It’s got to go in at some point.’’
▪ Center Vincent Trocheck participated in much of the Panthers’ off day practice Tuesday at Prudential Center yet coach Gerard Gallant he’s on schedule but would not play Wednesday.
Greg McKegg centered Florida’s third line in practice with Derek MacKenzie going back to the fourth but Gallant said not to read into that in projecting the lineup for Game 4.
Trocheck is not an option, however, as he is said to be days away from a return.
▪ Defenseman Steven Kampfer participated in the full practice Tuesday and would be available to play Wednesday.
Kampfer has been out since injuring an ankle at Ottawa in Florida’s second-to-last regular season game.
“It’s good to get back out there with the guys, nice to get back into a rhythm,’’ Kampfer said. “I feel good, feel ready to go but we’ll see.’’
Game 4: Panthers at Islanders
When, where: Wednesday, 8 p.m.; Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Series: Best-of-7; New York leads 2-1
TV/radio: FSFL, USA; WQAM 560, WMEN 640, WNMA 1210
Regular-season series: This year: Florida won 2-1; All time: Florida leads 43-36-8
Scouting report: The Islanders took a 2-1 series lead with a 4-3 overtime victory Sunday. Florida held a 3-1 lead in the second before New York tied it going into the third. Thomas Greiss (.922 save percentage) gets the call again for the Islanders against Roberto Luongo (.907).