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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers are hoping that Tuesday’s win over the Calgary Flames will help get the team back on track.

Despite losing five straight games, the Panthers are still right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race less than a quarter into the season.

Florida had a strong start to the season, led by their top line of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr.

In just the Panthers seventh game, Barkov broke a bone in his hand after blocking a shot and has been out of the lineup since.

Fortunately the injury did not require surgery and the 20-year-old center is making progress towards returning to the lineup.

Barkov will practice with his teammates on Thursday for the first time since the injury and is expected to resume playing games sometime in the next week or two, depending on how he responds to the increased workload.

The Panthers face the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, November 12th at 7:30 p.m. You can hear every game on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, the radio home of the Florida Panthers.

Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)