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Aleksander Barkov a late scratch due to illness Thursday vs. Stars

Panthers center won’t play and could affect fantasy hockey lineups.

Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers skates with the puck against the Washington Capitals at the FLA Live Arena on November 15, 2022 in Sunrise, Florida. Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Florida Panthers C Aleksander Barkov will not play Thursday vs. the Dallas Stars after being a late scratch due to illness. The Panthers will skate a man down against the Stars, which could impact betting on this game.

With Barkov out, Eric Staal will take his place on the top line with Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe. The Panthers are favored at home on the moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook at -155 and the Stars are still +135. Barkov is arguably the Panthers’ best player. Sergei Bobrovsky is in net and is taking on Scott Wedgewood.

The Stars’ top line of Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson has been very hot lately, so that would be a prime target for fantasy hockey, though it’s a little late for that. If you already have the first-line stack, good on you. Barkov is a solid two-way forward and not having him in there could impact the over/under as well.