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Panthers Notebook: Dmitry Kulikov Cut, Out for Time Being ... Kris Versteeg Not Happy with Non Call ... Kirk Muller Comes Full Circle

Kulikov (2)RALEIGH -- The Panthers may have lost defenseman Dmitry Kulikov for an extended period of time after he got sliced in the lower right leg by the skate of Eric Staal in the second period.

Kulikov raced off the ice after getting caught and didn't return because of the deep laceration.

Not only will Kulikov need some healing time, but teams are reluctant to let players go back too soon in these kind of cases because of the fear of serious infection. When Kulikov returns is not known.

Kulikov was stitched up by a local doctor and didn't have to be taken to an area hospital. Coach Kevin Dineen said Kulikov will travel to California with the team later Tuesday night.

“It's deep but it's not long,'' Dineen said of the cut. “You certainly saw some stuff in there and you don't see that too often. The doctor did a great job [on stitches]. If you look at my face, you would say those guys did quick work to get me back out there. That was a fairly detailed job. The doctor did a hell of a job. It was scary for [Kulikov] but he had great medical attention.''

-- The Panthers were quite upset when Kris Versteeg was bloodied during the first period after being hit by Derek Joslin. Versteeg slowly skated to the ice where his face was worked on by athletic trainer Dave Zenobi on the Florida bench. 

At the end of the period, Versteeg waited to talk to a referee but didn't like the explanation. Before going through the tunnel to the locker room, Versteeg chucked his stick in frustration.

-- Hockey circles always seem to come around and that case is true with new Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller.

Not only was he roommates in Florida with current Panthers broadcaster Billy Lindsay, but his first roommate upon joining the Devils in 1984 was Dave Lewis. Who happened to be retained as an assistant from Paul Maurice's staff by Muller? Yes, Lewis.

“It's weird seeing some of these guys like Scott Mellanby, Stu Barnes, Brian Skrudland have these kind of jobs,'' Lindsay said. “You see them in a different light. From roommate in the NHL to coach, that's a long way.''

-- Jack Skille was awarded a penalty shot at 7:51 of the third period but was denied by Ward. It was Florida's second penalty shot of the season. Kopecky also was stopped on his last month against the Islanders.