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PANTHERS NOTES: Mueller Still Out; Petrovic Makes NHL Debut as Strachan and Kuba Sit ... Gudbranson May be Hurt

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NEW YORK - The Panthers played their second straight game without forward Peter Mueller as he is back in South Florida after his wife Taylar gave birth to their first child - a boy - on Wednesday.

Mueller is staying with his family for the time being although he could come north at any time.

The Panthers don't seem to be in any rush to get him back with the team - although with so many flights to the New York area he could be back in uniform before the road trip ends.

-- With Filip Kuba and Tyson Strachan out with injuries, Alex Petrovic was called up and made his NHL debut Thursday.

Petrovic, a second round pick in Florida's so-far successful 2010 draft, took No. 72 as he became the eighth Florida player to make his NHL debut this season.

"It’s pretty amazing to be in Madison Square Garden,'' Petrovic said before the game, adding he sent a text message with the news to his entire contact list.

-- Kuba took part in Thursday's optional skate at Chelsea Piers but said he wasn't able to go. He added he hoped to play before the road trip ends Sunday in Boston.

-- Defenseman Erik Gudbranson left Thursday's game with over a minute left after going into the boards. Gudbranson's wrist/hand injury needs to be evaluated, Dineen said.

Gudbranson seemed to be in some pain as he worked his way to the bench, putting his head down as he clutched his hand. Gudbranson was attended to by Dave Zenobi and skated off with his glove off as he was moving his thumb around.

-- The Rangers had a moment of silence for the victims of Monday's bombing in Boston.

The two teams skated out to the Dropkick Murphys' favorite 'Shipping Up To Boston' to start each period.

After the game, Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline' played. That song, obviously, is a Boston favorite and a Fenway Park tradition.