Brandon Pirri, Vincent Trocheck return to Panthers lineup vs. Canucks
SUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers plan to inject some youth into their lineup on Monday night as forwards Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri return to the ice in the team’s final game before the All-Star break against the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
"They’re both playing tonight," Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant said after Monday’s morning skate. "They’ve got some fresh legs and they feel good. They’ll be excited to play."
Trocheck, 21, has been scratched in five of the past six games while Pirri, 23, has sat out eight of the past 11.
"I’ll definitely be an energy guy tonight," said Trocheck, who has notched four goals and 13 points in 27 games for Florida this season. "Definitely well rested. Hopefully I’ll get in there and contribute and help our team win any way I can."
A natural center, Trocheck is expected to play right wing against the Canucks on Monday but is confident that he can make a smooth transition to a position he has only played sparingly so far this season.
"As a center you’re in more places and you do a lot more," Trocheck said. "As a winger, you’re kind of confined to one area of the ice, up and down the right side. That’s probably the main difference."
Pirri, meanwhile, will look to snap a 15-game goal drought that has plagued him since he returned from a 10-game stint on the injured reserve list. He sustained a concussion against Arizona on Oct. 30.
"For me, it’s just taking advantage of this opportunity and kind of running with it," said Pirri, who has recorded three goals and one assist in 19 games for Florida this season.
"You’ve gotta take care of yourself every day and treat practice like a game. When you do get this opportunity, you’ve gotta show up and make the most of it."
Florida is 5-3-2 this season when both Trocheck and Pirri are in the lineup.