Radko Gudas had already been nursing an injury prior to Monday's Stanley Cup Finals Game 2 clash against the Golden Knights. A huge hit from Ivan Barbashev sent him out of the game early in the first period.
The Panthers' veteran defenseman was injured on a reverse hit from Barbashev, sending Gudas to the locker room just under seven minutes into the game.
The Panthers announced early in the second period that Gudas would not return to the game.
Update: Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas will not return to tonight’s game.— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) June 6, 2023
Gudas is a physical player for Florida, having finished the season ranked second in the NHL with 312 hits. That trailed only Luke Schenn and his 318 hits. Comparatively, Barbashev tied for 45th with Vincent Trocheck with 182.
So far this postseason, Gudas has tallied three points — all assists — while averaging 17:54 on the ice with 79 hits and 30 blocks.
Here's what you need to know about Gudas' injury.
Is Radko Gudas playing in Game 3?
Gudas is expected to dress for Thursday night's Game 3 contest between the Panthers and the Golden Knights.
Coach Maurice says Radko Gudas will play tonight in Game 3.— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) June 8, 2023
While the defenseman did not skate prior to Game 3, he should return to the Florida lineup and likely slot back in on the third pairing with Josh Mahura.
Radko Gudas injury update
Gudas was hit hard on a reverse hit from Barbashev. He was able to leave the ice under his own power.
However, the Panthers announced early in the second period that Gudas would not be able to return to the game because of the injury.
Radko Gudas heads to the room following a hit from Ivan Barbashev. pic.twitter.com/3VCJjePOz2— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 6, 2023
Though Gudas was not listed on an injury report before the game, the team clearly had concerns over his status. The Panthers dressed seven defensive players ahead of Game 2 in preparation that he might not be able to play a full shift.
During Game 1, Gudas played only 11:30 compared to his regular-season average of 17:22.
Panthers head coach Paul Maurice did not have an update on Gudas after Game 2, and he did not have one either on Tuesday morning.
Panthers defense depth chart
- Gustav Forsling, Aaron Ekblad
- Marc Staal, Brandon Montour
- Josh Mahura, Radko Gudas
Gudas has typically been on the third defensive pairing with Josh Mahura, according to Daily Faceoff.
On Monday, Casey Fitzgerald was the seventh defensive player dressed and would be the most likely player to see increased ice time should Gudas miss an extended period due to the hit.