SUNRISE, Fla. — The injury-riddled Florida Panthers will be further shorthanded Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins with the absence of center Stephen Weiss, who flew to Toronto to attend his grandmother’s funeral.
Weiss will be one of six regulars missing from the lineup, along with defensemen Ed Jovanovski (knee) and Filip Kuba (upper body) and forwards Scottie Upshall (ankle), Kris Versteeg (upper body) and Sean Bergenheim (lower body).
Coach Kevin Dineen said Versteeg brought a lot of energy to the morning skate and that he could return “in the short term.”
One day after top goalie prospect Jacob Markstrom was reassigned to San Antonio of the American Hockey League, Jose Theodore is expected to get the start in net for the Panthers. Theodore last started a game on Feb. 18 in a 3-0 home loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Theodore has a 20-5-4 career record against the Penguins with four shutouts, a 2.31 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.
In a rare occurrence, the Panthers held their morning skate at their practice facility in Coral Springs instead of at BB&T Center.
“I felt like it was a little bit of a changeup,” Dineen said. “I like the idea that I had two new players in Colby (Robak) and Scott Timmins in the lineup and that we could take an extra 2-3 minutes this morning in our team meeting.
"We’re trying to be very respectful on a game day of how much time you’re giving these days. Saving some time on the drives home and putting our focus into what we need to do to have success against the Pens.”
Here are the Panthers’ projected lines for Tuesday’s game against the Penguins: