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Florida Panthers Could Get Kris Versteeg Back This Week ... Erik Gudbranson Sat to 'Take a Breath'

Versteeg2BY GEORGE RICHARDS Twitter: @OnFrozenPond

Panthers leading scorer Kris Versteeg says he's been feeling better after missing the past week with what's believed to be a hip injury.

Versteeg said he hopes to be back on the ice this week. The Panthers will practice Tuesday and Wednesday before playing in Philadelphia on Thursday.

“One-hundred percent, I'm playing down the stretch this season,'' Versteeg said. “It's just a matter of it feeling better and being cleared to go. But I'm coming back. That's for sure.''

Versteeg said the injury had been bothering him for more than a month, but hard hits on successive nights against Carolina and Montreal forced him to take some time off.

“That hit against Montreal made me realize it was time,'' he said. Versteeg left both of those games early.

--Erik Gudbranson was pulled from Saturday's loss after an ill-advised shift change during the third period led to Nashville's third goal in the Predators' 3-1 win.

“That was dumb,'' Gudbranson said.

He was then told to be at the arena early Sunday morning for a conditioning skate as he was scratched from Sunday's game as Ed Jovanovski returned to the lineup and Tyson Strachan came in. 

“That was a hard decision for me because I have a tremendous amount of respect for Gudbranson,'' Dineen said.

“He's going to be a cornerstone player for this franchise. But I know the learning curve at this level is very large. .-.-. Sometimes taking a breath isn't the worst thing.''

Comments

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Sitting Gudbranson doesn't do anything. The guy sticks his body out for the team and he gets benched? Doesn't make any sense other than giving him some rest. He's done nothing to deserve a benching.

Sitting Gudbranson doesn't do anything. The guy sticks his body out for the team and he gets benched? Doesn't make any sense other than giving him some rest. He's done nothing to deserve a benching.

who they need to see its ellerby. he is a big body, never hits and just looks lost out there! he maybe the odd man out in the rotation next season!!!

Gudbranson's been playing pissed off. But Chris Neil wouldve knocked him around (if Barch hadnt been on the ice). Good timing to sit Gudbranson.

I agree with 93, but the result was a success, 2 points! I'd expect Guds to be back on Thursday.

Remember Bouwmeester and the bright future the hockey world predicted for him? Now only a mediocre D in Calgary. Don't want to see the same happening to Gudbranson. Don't burn a rookie with such good talents. Giving him a breather is actually a good thing.

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