Jacob Markstrom entered training camp poised to develop from the Florida Panthers' goaltender of the future into their goaltender of the present. But the signing of Tim Thomas shortly before the season, coupled with Markstrom's slowed development, led the Panthers to assign the 23-year-old to their American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio.
Markstrom, who hasn't won a game since Oct. 11, is 1-5-3 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .877 save percentage. Despite getting the start in a 3-2 loss on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators, Tim Thomas will be back between the pipes against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Henrik Lundqvist will start for the Rangers, who will insert Brandon Mashinter for Taylor Pyatt (concussion). Mashinter has been a healthy scratch the past two games for New York.
"I've seen improvement and I've seen a young man that works real hard," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of Mashinter. "He brings a physical dimension to our team that we need and he will get another opportunity tonight."
For the second straight day, Rick Nash skated with the Rangers' extras, including injured forward Dominic Moore and backup goaltender Cam Talbot. There remains no timetable for his return, but his being back on the ice is an encouraging sign for the Rangers.
Here are the projected lineups for the Panthers and Rangers:
Scottie Upshall - Aleksander Barkov - Kris Versteeg
Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Tomas Fleischmann
Sean Bergenheim - Shawn Matthias - Krys Barch
Brad Boyes - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky
Dmitry Kulikov - Erik Gudbranson
Brian Campbell - Tom Gilbert
Mike Weaver - Matt Gilroy
Scratched: Scott Gomez, Jesse Winchester (suspended)
Injured: Ed Jovanovski (hip surgery)
Mats Zuccarello - Derek Stepan - Chris Kreider
Ryan Callahan - Brad Richards - Carl Hagelin
Derek Dorsett - Derick Brassard - Benoit Pouliot
Brandon Mashinter - Brian Boyle - J.T. Miller
Dan Girardi - Ryan McDonagh
Michael Del Zotto - Marc Staal
Anton Stralman - John Moore
Scratched: Justin Falk
Injured: Rick Nash (head), Dominic Moore (strained oblique), Taylor Pyatt (concussion)