Jacob Markstrom entered training camp poised to develop from the Florida Panthers' goaltender of the future into their goaltender of the present. But the signing of Tim Thomas shortly before the season, coupled with Markstrom's slowed development, led the Panthers to assign the 23-year-old to their American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio.
Markstrom, who hasn't won a game since Oct. 11, is 1-5-3 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .877 save percentage. Despite getting the start in a 3-2 loss on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators, Tim Thomas will be back between the pipes against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
"I've seen improvement and I've seen a young man that works real hard," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of Mashinter. "He brings a physical dimension to our team that we need and he will get another opportunity tonight."
For the second straight day, Rick Nash skated with the Rangers' extras, including injured forward Dominic Moore and backup goaltender Cam Talbot. There remains no timetable for his return, but his being back on the ice is an encouraging sign for the Rangers.
Here are the projected lineups for the Panthers and Rangers:
Injured: Ed Jovanovski (hip surgery)
Scratched: Justin Falk