SUNRISE, Fla. -- As he indicated earlier this week, Florida coach Kevin Dineen's goalie decision for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against New Jersey Friday will come down to the wire.
"You know what, all year long I've waited till the end, so we'll give it a couple more hours and give it a good gut check and go from there," Dineen said after the Panthers' morning skate at the BankAtlantic Center.
Dineen has to decide between Jose Theodore, who was the team's No. 1 goalie all season but gave up nine goals in his last two starts, or Scott Clemmensen, who was solid as the backup but tremendous in his last four starts when he went 3-0-1 with a .962 save percentage.
The starting goalie wasn't the only lineup decision Dineen said he still needed to make before the 7 p.m. opening faceoff.
Veteran forward Marco Sturm skated for a second consecutive day after missing practice on Monday and Wednesday, but Dineen wasn't ready to say whether he would take his place on the line with John Madden and Tomas Kopecky.
Krystofer Barch, who was a healthy scratch for the last four regular season games, skated with the Madden line at practice all week.
"He's a big, physical guy, but more importantly he can skate," Dineen said of Barch. "When you're playing a team as skilled as the Devils, you're going to need to be able to move your feet. That's an advantage we've had over the course of the season is we have a lot of guys that move their feet well. We like to think of ourselves as being able to put some speed at teams and Barchy would be a good addition in that way."
Sturm, acquired along with fellow veteran Mikael Samuelsson in the October trade that sent David Booth to Vancouver, battled injuries a good part of the season and appeared in only 48 games for the Panthers.
For the Devils, coach Peter DeBoer confirmed before his team's optional skate that rookie defenseman Adam Larsson would not be in the lineup Friday.
The fourth pick in the 2011 NHL draft, Larsson was a healthy scratch for five of the Devils' last six regular season games.
Larsson had 18 points in 65 games during the regular season, but his minus-7 rating was the worst among the seven New Jersey defensemen currently on the roster.
Here are the projected lines for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Devils and Panthers:
Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold
Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Sean Bergenheim - Marcel Goc - Mikael Samuelsson
Scottie Upshall - Shawn Matthias - Wojtek Wolski
Marco Sturm - John Madden - Tomas Kopecky
Jason Garrison - Brian Campbell
Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver
Ed Jovanovski - Erik Gudbranson