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Top prospect Markstrom back with Panthers

by Alain Poupart
SUNRISE, Fla. — Goalie prospect Jacob Markstrom will be back up with the Florida Panthers on Saturday night  while the team gives veteran Scott Clemmensen at least a couple of days off.

Coach Kevin Dineen said the move isn’t related to the knee surgery Clemmensen underwent before the start of the regular season. Dineen instead used the term “soreness.”

Markstrom will join the Panthers sometime in the afternoon after playing in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Friday night. Markstrom, who will back up Jose Theodore against the Pittsburgh Penguins, stopped 28 of
32 shots in San Antonio’s 5-4 overtime victory.

Clemmensen was held out of the Panthers’ morning skate Saturday and a local amateur goalie filled in.

“It’s just a chance for us to keep making sure that I’ve got guys feeling 100 percent,” Dineen said. “If it was later in the season, our decision-making would be different than it is. I was going to go back with Theo tonight and felt that the extra day or two off the ice would benefit [Clemmensen] more than having him out there practicing today and backing up tonight.”

Clemmensen made his only start of the season Tuesday at Dallas when he stopped 25 shots in a 6-0 victory. Dineen said Clemmensen’s absence is “short term,” but didn’t dismiss the possibility of Markstrom getting a start.

After the game Saturday against Penguins, the Panthers have three more home games during the next week — Monday against New Jersey, Wednesday against the New York Rangers and Friday against Tampa Bay.

“I’ve been pretty vague about my goaltenders,” Dineen said. “I like keeping my options open. We’ll see where we’re at on Monday and we’ll just play it from there.”

The Panthers likely will be without forwards Marcel Goc (upper body) and Matt Bradley (upper body) against the Penguins.

To help up front, the Panthers on Friday recalled Michal Repik from San Antonio. He was the third forward called up in the past week, joining Evgenii Dadonov and Tim Kennedy.
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