Barkov was shaken up and did not return to the game due to what the team called an upper-body injury.
After reviewing the incident, the league deemed the hit legal under rule 48.1 (ii), citing that “the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position by assuming a posture that made head contact on an otherwise full body check unavoidable.”
The 20-year-old centre has registered 16 goals and 19 assists in 43 games this season. He signed a six-year, $35.4-million extension in Florida in late January.
The Panthers also recalled Greg McKegg. McKegg, 23, has nine goals and 12 assists in 41 games with Florida’s AHL affiliate in Portland this season. He was originally selected in the third round of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and has suited up for four NHL games, all with Toronto.