Gudbranson, the third pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, was injured in the third period of a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday when he collided with Bruins forward Brad Marchand near the Panthers blue line. The two appeared to bump knees and Gudbranson's leg appeared to bend awkwardly as he fell to the ice.
"The scans came back better than we anticipated," Panthers coach Peter Horachek said after the morning skate Tuesday. "I don't really have the exact timeline. We'll have to wait to see where it is, but in the short term we got good news with the scan [because we were] fearful that there was more than we thought."
Gudbranson's spot in the lineup will be taken by veteran Mike Mottau, who was one of two players the Panthers called up Tuesday from the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League. Mottau will be appearing in his eighth game with the Panthers this season, his first since Dec. 3.
Also called up Tuesday was forward Joey Crabb. The 30-year-old has appeared in one game this season. He started the season with the Panthers but was a healthy scratch for the first three games and played 9:49 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 10 before being sent to San Antonio.
"Like Jesse, he's a guy with NHL experience," Horachek said. "He's played before. He can play in a lot of situations. He can play a gritty game and he can kill penalties. He's a guy that can play with more skilled players, he can play with harder players. He's got some versatility to his game. Hopefully he's going to come up and kind of just fill into the same role that Jesse was in."
Winchester was injured in the third period against Boston and did not play in the final 9:13.
Forward Sean Bergenheim missed the morning skate Tuesday for a maintenance day and will be in the lineup.
"I think it's good," Horachek said, joking. "I think all teams coming in here should go on back-to-backs. That should be a requirement."
Here are the projected lineups for the Coyotes and Panthers: