When the Panthers begin a stretch this evening of six games in 10 nights, they’ll do it without defenseman Bryan Allen.
Allen will sit out tonight’s game at BankAtlantic Center against the Minnesota Wild due to swelling in his knee. With Allen and Bryan McCabe (back) out of action, coach Peter DeBoer’s blue line will be Jay Bouwmeester, Nick Boynton, Cory Murphy, Noah Welch, Keith Ballard and Karlis Skrastins.
Allen, who had arthroscopic surgery during the off-season, said he should know more Friday or Saturday on his knee.
“I’m still getting some swelling,” said Allen, who said the off-season surgery was a basic flushing of some loose bodies. “I think right now we’re just going to sit back. I sent some (x-rays) to another doctor in New York and he’ll probably look at them (Friday).
“I think I’m getting to a point where I still probably could have played and gotten away with it, but I think it’s more important to figure out what the real issue is in my knee. Obviously, there’s something in there causing the swelling and little aggravation.”
For the Panthers, tonight’s game against the Wild, only the second meeting of the team’s in South Florida the past four years, is another important step in establishing a good feeling at home.
“With parity in the league and how many points you need to make the playoffs in this league, it’s pretty obvious you can’t leave points on the board,” DeBoer said. “Early here, we have an opportunity to fix something that I said (Wednesday) we red-flagged over the summer, and that was our home record. With three straight home games here, including the one the other night we won, it’s important we send a message to everyone else in the league this isn’t going to be an easy place to get two points.”
DeBoer added Kamil Kreps and Wade Belak would be back in the lineup tonight and Anthony Stewart and Michael Frolik will be healthy scratches.