The Panthers can say they survived.
After flying from Ottawa to South Florida to St. Louis while playing three games in four nights – the Panthers took Monday off to continue healing from the Dr. Demento portion of their NHL schedule.
Starting in Montreal a week ago, the Panthers played four games in six nights and returned home Sunday morning with a 2-2 record in those games and a .500 record (4-4) overall.
Although the trek ended with a 4-0 loss in St. Louis, coach Peter DeBoer said Monday there were a “lot of positives through the trip.”
“We played four very good teams,” he said. “Three of them are in the top 10 in the league – San Jose, St. Louis and Montreal. I thought we played well. We hit a bit of a wall the final game, but we came out .500 without some guys in the lineup.”
In fact, the Panthers were without Stephen Weiss
(groin), Gregory Campbell (hip flexor) and defenseman Cory Murphy (shoulder) in St. Louis. Weiss and Campbell will be “day-to-day” going into Thursday’s game at BankAtlantic Center against Ottawa while Murphy is still awaiting MRI results. McCabe is still week-to-week.
With defensemen Murphy, Bryan Allen (knee) and McCabe (back) out of the lineup, the Panthers called up Jason Garrison
from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Rochester, N.Y.
|Defenseman Jason Garrison (#52) made his pro debut against the Blues Saturday night. (AP Photo/Kyle Ericson) |
The 6-2 Garrison, who spent three years playing at the University of Minnesota-Duluth before signing as a free agent in April, played 11:57, including 2:22 on the power play. Initial impressions were favorable.
“I thought he played well,” said DeBoer of Garrison. “He had a good training camp for us and a good preseason. He’s a strong kid, he skates well, and he has a good hockey I.Q.”
Garrison, who returned to Rochester after the St. Louis game, could be back with the Panthers, depending on the outcome of Murphy’s MRI.
“It will depend on what our situation is Thursday,” DeBoer said. “But it seems he would be a guy who would be at the top of the list if we need to call up a defenseman.”
The Panthers, who get back to practice Tuesday at IncredibleIce, have struggled the past several games on the power play, going 0-for-12 in the last three games. DeBoer said it’s something the team will work on, but not panic over.
“We probably have to simplify things a little bit,” he said. “Special teams are an area we have to work on. I don’t think the answer rests with one thing. We just have to keep working at it. I don’t think we can over-analyze anything after just eight games. Obviously, we’re not where we want to be. If the situation is the same after 20, 30 games, then I’ll have more concern.”NOTES
The Senators play on the NHL Network tonight in Buffalo before traveling to BankAtlantic for Thursday’s game against the Panthers…After Thursday’s game at BankAtlantic, the Panthers play at Nashville Saturday and Atlanta Sunday. They then head off on a three-game, west coast road trip with stops in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Anaheim…