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At the Rink blog

Cats stick with Clemmensen; Theodore not ready yet

Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 1:30 PM

By Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer / At the Rink blog

WASHINGTON -- Florida Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore did not travel with the team for its critical contest against the Washington Capitals with the Southeast Division lead in the balance, but coach Kevin Dineen said he is close to returning to the lineup.

Theodore has not played since Jan. 20 because of a knee injury. He missed five games in the first half of January because of the knee before returning to make a pair of starts. Dineen said Theodore is expected to skate Tuesday and Wednesday in South Florida.

Scott Clemmensen will make his sixth straight start in net for the Panthers. He was pulled near the end of the second period in Florida's last contest, a 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay, but Dineen put him back in for the third period. He was 3-0-2 and had allowed 10 goals in his previous five starts.

Here is the projected lineup for the Panthers:

Tomas Flesichmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Tomas Kopecky - Mike Santorelli - Shawn Matthias
Sean Bergenheim - Marcel Goc - Mikael Samuelsson
Krystofer Barch - John Madden - Matt Bradley

Brian Campbell - Erik Gudbranson
Jason Garrison - Mike Weaver
Keaton Ellerby - Tyson Strachan

Scott Clemmensen
Brian Foster

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery