Feb 28, 2012, 12:43 PM EDT
The loss is a big one for the Panthers. Versteeg is their go-to guy up front — leading the team in goals (22), points (49) and game-winning goals (five) — and they’re about to embark on a crucial stretch. With 70 points and sitting atop the Southeast Division, Florida’s:
– In Toronto on Tuesday to face the 10th-place Leafs (65 points).
– In Winnipeg on Thursday to face the eighth-place Jets (68 points).
– At home Saturday against Nashville.
– At home Sunday against seventh-place Ottawa (74 points).
The hope is Versteeg will return to the lineup for Sunday, though reports suggest the injury could keep him out next week as well. As for replacements: John Madden will draw in while Tomas Kopecky moves up to center the first line between Tomas Fleischmann and Wojtek Wolski.
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- Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks 20
- Leafs deny rift between Kessel and coaching staff 13
- Injured Crosby, Malkin will miss start of Pens’ camp 8
- Selanne rips Boudreau in book 17
- Just how damaging are heated negotiations between Jackets, RFA Johansen? 37
- Panthers owners say they’re committed even though team has lost ‘tremendous amounts of money’ 11
- Update: Wild’s Harding out indefinitely with fractured foot 20
- Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier 24
- Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’ 25
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (61)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (54)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)