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Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk is not operating at 100 percent. It was evident during Florida’s 3-2 loss to Vegas in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. 

Tkachuk was hurt in Game 3 when he took a big hit from Golden Knights forward Keegan Kolesar. Whatever lingering effects of the collision remain are still hampering his play days later. 

Tkachuk played just 16:50 on Saturday night, nearly five minutes less than his 21:53 average TOI during the 2023 playoffs. His absence was most notable in the third period; there was a stretch where he did not take the ice for more than 10 minutes. 

With Vegas now up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, Florida will need Tkachuk for Game 5. The son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk leads the team in points and goals this postseason with 11 and 24, respectively. 

MORE: How many Stanley Cups have the Golden Knights won?

The Sporting News has the latest updates on Tkachuk’s injury status in the Stanley Cup Final. 

Will Matthew Tkachuk play in Game 5?

The Panthers have two days off before Game 5 on Tuesday, but that didn’t prevent Tkachuk from admitting after Game 4 that he is unsure of his status for that contest. 

He said in his postgame interview he “couldn’t commit” to playing in the elimination game. 

Florida coach Paul Maurice praised Tkachuk after the game for grinding through Game 4. He said he sat Tkachuk to preserve him for the final minutes of the third period. 

MORE: Matthew Tkachuk on pace for most penalty minutes in a Stanley Cup Final

“Matthew’s been a grinder his whole life, and he was again tonight,” Maurice said. “We were just looking to get in some situation where he could use what he had to give us. Hoping to get on the power play a little bit earlier, I guess, and certainly at the end of the game.”

Maurice also said that Tkachuk will be evaluated before Game 5. He did not have an update on Sunday. 

Matthew Tkachuk injury update

Neither Tkachuk nor Maurice commented on what the injury is, but whatever it is came from the Kolesar hit in Game 3.

Tkachuk was on the wrong end of a big, open-ice collision in the first period. He stumbled while trying to get up, but he was eventually able to skate to the bench. 

He played the next shift but then went down the tunnel to be evaluated by the training staff. Maurice confirmed after the game that his temporary removal was due to the concussion spotter pulling him from the contest.

MORE: How does the NHL’s concussion protocol work?

Tkachuk was cleared and returned to the game. 

The injury could be to Tkachuk’s left shoulder. He was seen stretching out the shoulder on the bench with the training staff. Considering he suited up for Game 4, a shoulder injury is more likely than a concussion.



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