Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said he thinks Dmitry Kulikov is playing with a little more enthusiasm of late.

Kulikov doesn’t know if there’s anything to that, other than he has scored a few goals lately allowing him to do a little celebrating.

Those two goals have been big ones, too. Both of Kulikov’s goals have come in the past four games — and both were game-winners.

Kulikov’s overtime shot on March 30 beat the Devils 3-2; his heavy wrister Sunday was the difference in a 2-1 win over the Senators.

“Obviously it feels good to win, but I don’t think my game has changed at all,” Kulikov said with a smile. “But when you are able to score some goals, you get a chance to look like a happy guy out there. I’m just trying to play the best I can, help us win some games.”

This has been one strange season for the 22-year-old defenseman. Kulikov came to Florida for the start of training camp after an offseason in Russia, only to have the NHL owners lock out the players.

After a few days of working out with his Florida teammates, Kulikov left to play in the KHL.

Kulikov had a mini-holdout once the lockout ended but was in Florida in time for the season opener. Citing severe jet lag after racing back from Russia, Kulikov missed the opener and didn’t make his season debut until the second game in Ottawa a few days later.

“The lockout played its role this year but otherwise it’s been a regular year,” said Kulikov. “We had a lot of injuries out of the lockout, but we shouldn’t make excuses. We’re all in this together.”