SUNRISE, Fla. --
The Florida Panthers
are close to having their full complement of players, but they're not quite there yet.
The Panthers again will be without goalie Jose Theodore
and four forwards -- Scottie Upshall
, Sean Bergenheim
, Jack Skille
and Marco Sturm
-- when they face the Boston Bruins
on Monday night, but all five players are expected to join the team on a three-game road trip that begins Wednesday night in Colorado.
They all took part in the morning skate, although the four forwards were wearing green jerseys.
"Just depending on our medical reports, I'd like to think that we're no longer considering injured guys and now it's going to be to options that I'll have," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen
said. "That's a good place for us to be, to have some healthy options."
As for Theodore, he has been practicing with the Panthers for several days, but Dineen says he wants to be extra cautious with the veteran goalie.
Theodore sustained a knee injury during a 3-2 victory over Montreal on New Year's Eve.
Said Dineen: "I think he has made good strides every day and we feel that he is close to being ready, but when I have expectations for a player to come and play a lot of hockey down the stretch, we want to make sure that he is doing that in a healthy body and frame of mind."
Against Boston, the Panthers power play should have a different look. Forward Mikael Samuelsson
was working at the point instead of defenseman Dmitry Kulikov
with the first power-play unit at the morning skate.
The Panthers converted only 2 of 17 power-play opportunities in the last six games.
One of those was the game-winner by Marcel Goc
in last Monday's 2-1 victory over Vancouver. Samuelsson was at the point with the second power-play unit and started the play with a cross-ice pass to Kris Versteeg
Here is the projected lineup:
- Stephen Weiss
- Kris Versteeg
- Marcel Goc
- Mikael Samuelsson
- John Madden
- Michal Repik
- Mike Santorelli
- Matt Bradley
- Brian Campbell
- Mike Weaver
- Erik Gudbranson