SUNRISE, Fla. --
The Florida Panthers
will be without their leading scorer when they face the Washington Capitals
Wednesday night in a battle for first place in the Southeast Division.
Coach Kevin Dineen
said after the Panthers' morning skate that right wing Kris Versteeg
would miss the game because of the flu.
Versteeg, who also missed practice on Monday and Tuesday, leads the Panthers with 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists).
His place on the top line with Tomas Fleischmann
and Stephen Weiss
is expected to be taken by veteran Tomas Kopecky
Versteeg is one of six Panthers players who will miss the game because of injury -- also out are defensemen Ed Jovanovski
and Dmitry Kulikov
, forwards Jack Skille
and Scottie Upshall
, and goalie Jose Theodore
Dineen said Wednesday that Theodore has been bothered by a knee he injured against Montreal on New Year's Eve and will be given a few days off.
The Panthers called up goalie Brian Foster
from San Antonio on Wednesday to back up veteran Scott Clemmensen
The one piece of good news for the Panthers on the injury front is the expected return of veteran forward Marco Sturm
, who has been out since sustaining a concussion on Dec. 20. Sturm was injured when he was hit by a puck in the face while sitting on the bench.
Here is the projected lineup:
- Stephen Weiss
- Tomas Kopecky
- Marcel Goc
- Mikael Samuelsson
- John Madden
- Sean Bergenheim
- Mike Santorelli
- Matt Bradley
- Mike Weaver
- Erik Gudbranson
- Tyson Strachan