Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Panthers without Jason Garrison
By Mike Mazzeo Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEWARK, N.J. -- The Florida Panthers have a chance to eliminate the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night -- but they'll have to do so without their top defenseman and their top goaltender as well.
Jason Garrison missed his third straight game of his team's Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with a lower-body injury, while Jose Theodore is still "tender," which allowed backup Scott Clemmensen to make the start.
Defenseman Keaton Ellerby (undisclosed) also was held out.
The Panthers had been awaiting Theodore's medical report before making the decision whether to sit him. It is unknown where he is injured or how it happened. Florida coach Kevin Dineen declined to disclose any details.
The Panthers called up Jacob Markstrom from the AHL in preparation of Theodore being unable to dress. Theodore did not participate in the team's morning skate.
Theodore gave the Panthers a 3-2 series lead when he shut out the Devils with 30 saves in Game 5 on Saturday night.
The 35-year-old Theodore is 2-1 with a 2.60 goals-against average in four starts in the series. The 34-year-old Clemmensen is 1-1 with a 2.11 GAA in two appearances (one start).
"It's an opportunity to get re-engaged in the series, and I'll be ready to do everything I can to get the win," Clemmensen said.
"They told me to be ready over the past day or so. Other than that, we're gonna take it as it comes, and I fully expect to make the start (Tuesday night). That's how it is."
The 27-year-old Garrison, the team's quarterback on the power play, has a goal and an assist in three games in the series.