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2 posts from April 19, 2013

April 19, 2013

PANTHERS NOTES: Gudbranson Out for Weekend; Kuba Returns ... Panthers Take Over MSG

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

NEW YORK - Defenseman Erik Gudbranson suffered an undisclosed injury to a hand or wrist late in Thursday's 6-1 loss to the Rangers.

Coach Kevin Dineen said nothing was broken although Gudbranson didn't practice Friday and isn't expected to play in Florida's final two games of the road trip.

Filip Kuba, who has missed the past two games, will be back in the lineup Saturday.

"Gudbranson is out for the weekend although it's not anything we're worried about long-term,'' Dineen said. "It's just best to keep him out through the weekend.''

-- As they have for the past three days, the Panthers practiced at Chelsea Piers in midtown Manhattan on Friday.

Because the locker room space there is small, the Panthers have dressed at Madison Square Garden then boarded a bus for practice. The team would then get back on the bus after practice and return to the Garden.

With the Rangers off to Buffalo, the Panthers pretty much had the Garden to themselves on Friday as workers covered up the ice and put down the basketball court for Saturday's playoff opener between the Knicks and Celtics.

-- Defenseman Alex Petrovic made his NHL debut at the Garden on Thursday night and still seemed excited about it a day later. Petrovic, who made his professional debut last spring with the AHL Rampage, likely would have been called up earlier this season but was injured.

"Now I can take a deep breath,'' Petrovic said Friday. "I think I did pretty good. There's no better place to play your first game than New York. Even though we lost, I'll never forget it.''

PANTHERS WATCHING BOSTON: Panthers Play Devils on Saturday Before Trip to Boston on Sunday

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

NEW YORK -- Not long after the Panthers returned to the visitor's locker room at Madison Square Garden following Friday's practice, a good number of players crowded into a small room to watch television coverage of the Boston manhunt.

Although the Panthers have gone about their business on this New York trip, things could change after Saturday afternoon's game in New Jersey. The Panthers scheduled to fly from Newark to Boston shortly after Saturday's game at Prudential Center.

The Panthers have a game against the Bruins at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon. Friday's game at the Garden between the Bruins and visiting Penguins was postponed.

"The whole nation is watching Boston right now trying to figure out what's going on,'' said goalie Scott Clemmensen, a Boston College graduate.

"Boston is not a destination spot right now. All joking aside, the situation is scary for the city and its residents.

"We have to go to work and have a game to play. We're focused on New Jersey right now, but we're watching Boston. Hopefully it doesn't affect us. They wouldn't let us go there if things weren't worked out. We're just watching from afar like everyone else.''

With Boston under lockdown Friday morning, the Bruins and Pens cancelled their morning skate with the game announcement coming a few hours later.

The Red Sox were scheduled to play at Fenway for the first time since the marathon bombings against Kansas City. That game was postponed as well.

With the Panthers and Bruins not playing until Sunday, the concern of the game being cancelled or postponed isn't great just yet.

The Panthers figure they will close this four-game road trip at Boston on Sunday and fly home afterward. As scheduled. The Bruins already had to reschedule their game against the Senators that was to be played the night of the bombings.

"It's going to be heavy and I've thought about it a lot knowing we're going there,'' forward George Parros said.

"It's one of those things where we are pulling together as a nation right now. If we can bring a little distraction, we're happy to do that. My brother went to Boston College; I have a lot of friends there. It hits home. But we have to proceed as usual.''

Coach Kevin Dineen was looking forward to going to Boston as his daughter Hannah -- who is a senior at a prep school in New Hampshire -- had planned on heading into the city to spend some time with her father.

Those plans haven't been cancelled as of yet.

"We're just more concerned about the people. We're just a small piece of this puzzle,'' Dineen said. "This is on the horizon. There are logistics to a game [Friday night] and that could come into play. The NHL and the Bruins will handle it, and we will take their lead on it.''


When, Where: 1 p.m.; Prudential Center, Newark

TV/Radio: Sun Sports; WQAM-560

The series: Devils lead 46-26-7

The game: The last time Florida played here, the Devils won 2-1 and were sitting in a good playoff position. But Ilya Kovalchuk hurt his shoulder in that win and the Devils went into a tailspin, losing 10 straight before beating the Flyers on Thursday. The Devils went into Friday six points behind the Rangers for the final playoff spot. Florida beat New Jersey 2-1 in overtime on March 30.