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Maurice on Barkov: 'He wasn't worse, so that's a really good thing'


Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov's status for Game 3 remains up in the air after he exited his team's Game 2 win in the Stanley Cup Final following a high hit from Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl.

"He wasn't worse, so that's a really good thing," Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday, per team reporter Jameson Olive. "The real assessment will be tomorrow.

“We had some things that needed to be looked at today that got looked at. There’s nothing sinister there. He kind of passed that. He felt better today. Feels good. But you’ve got to give it another 24 hours to make sure that he feels strong.”

Barkov left Monday's 4-1 win over the Oilers immediately after the hit, which occurred midway through the third period, and did not return.

Barkov stayed down on the ice after taking the hit from Draisaitl at the 10:32 mark of the period and was eventually helped into the dressing room by the team’s training staff. Draisaitl was assessed a minor penalty for roughing on the play and could face further discipline. 

"The league will make their decision and then we're not dealing with that any more today," Maurice said Tuesday after declining comment post-game on Monday.

“I don’t think there was anything dirty about it,” Draisaitl said of the hit post-game. “I don’t know, maybe I got him a little high, but certainly not any intent to injure or anything like that.”

Barkov has appeared in 19 playoff games this postseason for the Panthers and has six goals and 13 assists.

He played 17:47 before exiting the game on Monday.