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After 21-game absence, Bolland (groin) back for Panthers

Ottawa Senators v Florida Panthers

Ottawa Senators v Florida Panthers

NHLI via Getty Images

Florida will get one of its biggest free agent acquisitions back in the lineup tonight, as Dave Bolland will play for the first time since Oct. 17 when the Panthers take on the Blues.

Bolland, who’s missed the last 21 games with a groin strain, came to Florida this summer amid significant fanfare and signed a five-year, $27.5 million pact that made him the club’s highest-paid forward at $5.5 million per season.

The returns thus far, however, haven’t been great -- Bolland’s only played in four games this season and has yet to record a point in a Panthers uniform. Florida has done remarkably well in his absence, however, going 10-5-6 and heading into tonight’s action just two points back of Toronto and Boston for fourth in the Atlantic Division.