On Saturday, the Panthers will not have any lineup changes among their skaters compared to their last game played against the Devils, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. As a result, Hudler (groin) is expected to be in the lineup. Hudler's groin injury was never considered serious, so it appears safe to plug him back into fantasy lineups. The 32-year-old veteran is still getting used to his new digs in Florida, but it's been disappointing to see his average ice time on the power play drop from around three minutes per game in Calgary to 1:13 with the Panthers. The Cats own the 23rd-ranked power-play unit in the league, so it's not like the team doesn't need help in that area.
Hudler exited Thursday's game late after taking a stick to the groin but coach Gerard Gallant indicated afterward that it's not considered serious, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. It sounds as though it was a case of bad stick placement, and there's a good chance he will be back in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Canadiens. However, owners interested should check back later for confirmation of his status for the tilt.
Hudler recorded a goal on five shots and added a plus-2 rating in Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Montreal. Hudler came into Tuesday going pointless in three straight, but the winger was able to break out of his mini-slump with his third goal of the month. In that cold streak, the 32-year-old only challenged the opposing goalie twice, but returned to an aggressive mindset against Montreal and it paid off. In Hudler's multi-goal game against Boston on March 7, the veteran fired on net six times -- equating more shots with production for the Czech.
Hudler scored twice in a 5-4 overtime loss to Boston on Monday. The pair of goals were the first as a Panther for Hudler, who was playing in his third game with Florida after departing Calgary in trade. He also fired six shots on goal in the contest, which is uncharacteristically high for a guy who only has 88 SOG in 56 games this season.
Hudler will be in the lineup Saturday night against the Coyotes, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports. Evidently, the winger has resolved a visa issue that prevent him from suiting up versus the Avalanche on Thursday. As a wily veteran with extensive experience on the man advantage, Hudler is an intriguing option in virtually any fantasy format Saturday. He's set to expose a Coyotes team that is ranked dead last in the league defensively, and just 27th on the penalty kill.
Last 7 Games
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