The Panthers skated hard for an hour Friday afternoon at the practice rink at Prudential Center without goalie Tomas Vokoun, forward Cory Stillman and defenseman Nick Boynton.
Vokoun is still fighting an ear infection, according to coach Peter DeBoer, and will likely miss his third consecutive game Saturday afternoon when the Panthers meet Martin Brodeur and the Devils. Stillman is doubtful with a bruised foot and Boynton has been set back to South Florida due to disciplinary reasons.
DeBoer and GM Jacques Martin would not comment further on Boynton, who has 4 goals and 12 assists in 56 games for the Panthers this season.
“We sent him home for the weekend for disciplinary reasons and we’ll deal with it after,” Martin said.
With Boynton out of the lineup through Tuesday’s game in Atlanta, Noah Welch will get playing time. He was paired with Bryan McCabe during Friday’s practice.
Vokoun, who had the flu, is now battling an ear infection “and symptoms that go with that,” DeBoer said.
“He may skate (Saturday) morning,” DeBoer said. “It’s painful, he can’t hear. I’m not sure of the symptoms, but he feels off. (Craig) Anderson will be going to go (against New Jersey).”
Anderson who allowed six goals Tuesday in Boston, was the number one star in Thursday 2-1 victory against the Rangers. He made 40 saves, including several highlight stops on Rangers shooters including one on Ryan Callahan.
Stillman, who didn’t play Thursday after taking a shot to the foot during the morning skate, did not skate Friday and will likely miss Saturday’s game.
“He still has a sore foot,” DeBoer said. “The X-rays are negative. Unless he comes full circle – it’s in a tender area and it’s tough to get his boot on – I’d say he’s doubtful.”
The Devils come into Saturday’s game off a 4-0 victory Thursday over Colorado. The game marked the first game back for Martin Brodeur after missing the last 50 games with an elbow injury. He stopped 24 shots for his 99th career shutout and 545th career victory.