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Panthers' Luongo to return against Maple Leafs

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Goaltender Roberto Luongo will be back in the lineup for the Florida Panthers when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, but he'll have a different backup and will be facing a goalie making his first NHL start.

Luongo, sporting a new mask, was the only Panthers goalie at the morning skate after Dan Ellis was sidelined with an upper-body injury sustained in practice Wednesday. Ellis was an emergency starter Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers when Luongo was scratched after leading the Panthers onto the ice for warm-ups.

With Ellis out, the Panthers recalled veteran Scott Clemmensen on an emergency basis, but he didn't skate Thursday morning because his equipment failed to arrive with him on his flight from San Antonio.

Captain Ed Jovanovski didn't take part in the morning skate, but coach Peter Horachek said it was a maintenance issue and the veteran defenseman is expected to play.

Forwards Krys Barch and Scott Gomez, who were healthy scratches for the 5-2 loss against the Flyers on Tuesday, missed the morning skate because of illness.

The Maple Leafs, who were eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention Tuesday, did not have a morning skate after holding a practice at BB&T Center on Wednesday.

Coach Randy Carlyle did not address the media after the practice but said after the 3-0 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday there could be some changes in his lineup. The most significant change will be in net, where journeyman Drew MacIntyre will make his first NHL start.

MacIntyre, 30, has appeared in five NHL games after being a fourth-round pick (No. 121) of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2001 NHL Draft.

Here are the projected lineups:


James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Carter AshtonNazem KadriDavid Clarkson

Mason RaymondNikolai KuleminTroy Bodie

Jerry D'Amigo - Jay McClementColton Orr

Carl GunnarssonDion Phaneuf

Jake GardinerCody Franson

Tim GleasonMorgan Rielly

Drew MacIntyre

James Reimer

Scratched: Paul Ranger

Injured: Jonathan Bernier (knee), Joffrey Lupul (knee), Dave Bolland (undisclosed)


Sean BergenheimNick BjugstadBrad Boyes

Tomas FleischmannVincent TrocheckScottie Upshall

Jonathan HuberdeauDrew ShoreJesse Winchester

Quinton HowdenBrandon PirriJimmy Hayes

Brian CampbellDmitry Kulikov

Ed JovanovskiErik Gudbranson

Dylan OlsenColby Robak

Roberto Luongo

Scott Clemmensen

Scratched: Scott Gomez, Krys Barch

Injured: Dan Ellis (upper body), Tom Gilbert (sports hernia), Aleksander Barkov (knee), Tomas Kopecky (upper body), Alex Petrovic (upper body)

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