SUNRISE, Fla. --
The Florida Panthers
will be without Jason Garrison
, who leads all NHL defensemen with 13 goals, for the next 7-10 days due to a lower-body injury.
Garrison was injured in the second period of Saturday's 3-1 victory at New Jersey
In addition to his 13 goals, Garrison is second on the team in average ice time at 23:33, and his plus-6 is the second-best mark on the team, and tops among Panthers blueliners.
"Big hole in our lineup," coach Kevin Dineen
said after practice Tuesday. "He's played a great level of hockey and he'll be missed in the next week."
Garrison becomes the third Panthers defenseman to be sidelined by injury, joining Ed Jovanovski
and Dmitry Kulikov
Kulikov, who underwent knee surgery Jan. 24, is expected to be out for at least another couple of weeks, but Jovanovski could be close to returning. He had surgery on his hand Jan. 18, two days after being involved in a fight with Boston's Daniel Paille
. Jovanovski took part in Tuesday's practice.
"Jovo has taken some good strides," Dineen said. "Now he's progressing to handling the puck and using his stick, which he hasn't done, but he's kept his conditioning up. Believe me, he will want to be back sooner than he's ready. He is very enthusiastic about getting back in the lineup, but that final decision will be made by our medical staff."
With the injuries on the blue line, Florida recently recalled Tyson Strachan
and Colby Robak
from San Antonio of the AHL.
Strachan, who had appeared in 67 games for St. Louis over the past three seasons, scored his first NHL goal in Sunday’s 4-1 victory against the Islanders; it was the same day Robak, a 2008 second-round pick, made his NHL debut.