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PANTHERS LIMP HOME FROM CAROLINA: Theodore, Kulikov Hurt in 6-2 Loss to Hurricanes ... Panthers Recall Jacob Markstrom, Expected to Start in Sunday's Rematch

HURRICANES 6, PANTHERS 2

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Panthers lost three players, including goalie Jose Theodore, during Saturday's blowout 6-2 loss to the host Hurricanes and now turn to their minor league team in San Antonio for reinforcement.

Florida plays host to Carolina in Sunday's rematch at 6 p.m. and at least two players -- including probable starting goalie Jacob Markstrom -- will catch early flights to try and help the Panthers stem the proverbial bleeding.

With Saturday's loss, the Panthers slid six points back of the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes.

Coach Kevin Dineen and defenseman Brian Campbell refused to use the injuries as a reason for Saturday's dreadful showing.

"It's a great excuse for as bad as we started that game, as unprepared as we looked,'' said Dineen, whose team also played the third without Stephen Weiss after he was ejected for fighting.

"You can blame it on injuries but that's the ultimate cop out. It was a big game against the divisional leader and we could have reeled them in. We weren't prepared from the drop of the puck. And that leads to injury. If you don't have your game face, well, it's a man's game out there.''

The biggest loss came early when Theodore was helped off the ice after he appeared to re-injure his troublesome right knee. Theodore, playing a Jussi Jokinen slap shot 2:22 in, stayed face down on the ice in obvious pain.

Theodore, who missed parts of last season -- including the playoffs -- with a knee injury, didn't put weight on his right leg as he left the ice. Theodore was seen walking without crutches but with a pronounced limp after the game.

Dineen said Theodore would be out for some time and that Markstrom would be headed to South Florida. Markstrom was held out of Saturday's game in San Antonio as he is expected to start Sunday against Carolina.

Markstrom was 0-2 last month in giving up three goals to both Pittsburgh and Boston. Florida sent him back to San Antonio because it didn't want to carry three goalies as it appeared Scott Clemmensen was out of his early-season rut.

With Theodore out for the foreseeable future, Markstrom is not considered a roster luxury anymore.

Clemmensen replaced Theodore and gave up goals on three consecutive shots in a three-minute span during the first -- although Florida's defense didn't offer much help.

"We made it tough on ourselves,'' said Filip Kuba, who scored his first goal of the season but was part of Carolina's second of the night. "We knew they were going to come out hard, forecheck hard. We didn't respond to that. The whole night was a horrible effort from us.''

Clemmensen was quickly down 3-0 before Shawn Matthias scored to make it 3-1. But the Hurricanes added two more in the second and went into the third up 5-2. Clemmensen, who was pulled in the first period of Thursday's shootout loss to the Sabres, made 27 saves.

After Theodore left the ice, the Panthers' training room at PNC Arena filled up quick.

Florida also lost defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (wrist/hand) after he lost his footing and went down hard onto the ice and into the boards.

Scottie Upshall, playing in his first game since Jan. 31 because of an injured akle, left with an undisclosed lower body injury. Jack Skille (upper) left but returned and played in the third period.

Defenseman Nolan Yonkman, 31, may take Kulikov's spot on Sunday.

"It doesn't matter who is out there, you still have to play,'' Campbell said. "You can't control who is out and who is in. If you want to be a good team, you don't use excuses.''

As far as forwards go, expect Mike Santorelli (scratched Saturday) and could Kris Versteeg (chest injury) in on Sunday.

BERGENHEIM GETS PAID

Assistant general manager Mike Santos said injured winger Sean Bergenheim would come off the suspended list on Monday after Bergenheim won his medical grievance over the Panthers on Friday.

Bergenheim is expected to meet with team doctors to determine the next course of action -- which is believed to be sports hernia surgery which would cost him the remainder of the season. Santos would not confirm that.

Bergenheim, suspended since he was thought to be injured while playing in Finland during the lockout, will be paid his entire salary for this season going back to the lockout.

Comments

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Thank god for the short season. Only a few more weeks of misery, and than we can see what players that are "Passed their sell by date" we will sign.

That was an ugly start to a game, both with the play and Theo going down. I dont wish Theodore injury but it's a blessing in that they can finally keep Markstrom up. Jose is in his last contract year (and with a NTC), so this injury may wipe out any hope of a deadline trade for something, a prospect or draft pick, but atleast Markstrom should get some valuable NHL experience. He will be up with Florida next season, Theodore will be gone. Upshall is cursed, cant get on the ice and finish a game all season. I expect Kulikov may have a fractured wrist (or hand) so he may essentially be done. Panthers may be playing for a legit shot at the #1 overall pick.

I would still like to see Weiss re-signed despite his struggling. If they dont sign him in season, he has a NTC and will be gone for nothing if he doesnt wave it before the deadline and even if he does, he's in his final year, he wont bring back fair value in a trade. Something is going on with him. He should have been named Captain and that not happening probably contributed in some part to what I think may be him wanting to move on and play elsewhere.

I expect Tallon will begin to unload some veterans pretty soon. We'll hopefully see an even younger team next season with a couple more recent picks up with Florida.

This team is going to take a hit on D with Weaver and Kulikov out that will make some of the fans realize that these two players are better than they give them credit for. Tallon is close to having to pick up a player or two either through waiver wire, trade (most likely for a draft pick) or signing an unsigned vet.

Glad this is a short season now because it's ugly.

This is ridiculous. Dineen needs to be fired today!

great stat from last night game. Goc -4, Perros +2

marcus, really why Marcus. Because the team isn't winning. You have to the horses and the Panthers don't right now. Pat Riley didn't have the horses in the 2007-08 season and went 15-67, I guess you would have fired him too. Player win games, not coaches.

Ditto about Dineen , wrong game plans, the young ones will be demoralized with loss after loss before you draft #1 next year. L. Ruff is available...

How is it even possible to have injury problems of this magnitude?
Question to hockey gods; when is enough enough? Haven't you punished us and the team enough for being able to watch (and play) live NHL hockey in the sun:-)?

With many of our best players injured we are not going to win in this league. There are 29 other really good teams out there and we are not going to replace our best players with rookies and scratches and then expect to win every night.

Only a large number of lucky breaks and very hard work over the next games will get us in a much needed winning streak. We need to get to at least .500 to salvage the season and we are now almost halfway through it.
Any talk about hoping to get #1 picks etc is just a continuation of a loosing culture. Winning breeds winning just ask Chicago, which by the way mostly was built by Tallon.

On a different note; please Parros, make Faulk understand tonight that it's going to hurt to take liberties on our best players, in this case Weiss.

When is the most overrated Weis saga will end ?

If Tallon wants to trade Weiss, I have a hard time believing Weiss would turn an offer to go to the Bruins, Leafs, Rangers, etc or just about anybody. How many chances is he going to get here in Florida?? This year is taking one step back after taking two steps forward. Why have I continued to root for this team since 1993?? I must be nuts.

you can trade weiss to whomever you want but being a ufa, no team will give up anything more than like a 3rd or 4th rounder without being signed to a contract

Reading some of these comments on firing Dineen just goes to show how stupid Panther fans really are. If you are coaching an average team WHEN HEALTHY and bring them to the playoffs what do you expect to happen when half the team is hurt????? Dineen can't perform miracles. This is one of the worst teams in the NHL on paper and I think he really does get everything he can out of this group. They are just not good enough to compete in the NHL.

Florida and Columbus are mirror images of each other. Always drafting high, draft picks usually turn into busts, rebuilding for years and both teams are STILL the worst two teams in hockey. It's really sad...

For the past 3 seasons all you hear after a loss is, "we need to play a full 60 minutes, we didn't play our best game blah blah blah." I'm so sick of hearing these guys talk. They don't play hard EVER. This rebuilding is a lost cause.

Turn out the lights, the party's over...

Time to commence Project 'Not Winnin for MacKinnon'!

Can someone tell me why KD didn't play Yonkman until the middle of the 2nd period? Hell he can't be any worse than Kuba or even Campbell defensively. Oh by the way, he had more shots on goal than Weiss, who had NONE again

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