Theodore injured, Markstrom recalled, Clemmensen to start for Florida

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The bizarre Panthers goaltending situation got even stranger on Tuesday as the Panthers took the morning skate — without starting netminder Jose Theodore.

In his stead, AHL San Antonio Jacob Markstrom was on the ice, meaning Scott Clemmensen will start in tonight’s massive Game 6 against the New Jersey Devils.

This is the latest spin on Florida’s goaltending carousel. Prior to Theodore’s injury, Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen had been playing coy with his netminders — he only announced his Game 1 starter, Theodore, hours before puck drop, then switched to Clemmensen in Game 4.

When that backfired (Clemmensen lost, 4-0) Dineen went back to Theodore in Game 5 and the veteran responded well, stopping all 30 shots faced for his first playoff shutout since 2004.

Some things to consider:

— Clemmensen confirmed he’s starting, according to Rich Chere of the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

— Dineen, coy as ever, refused to rule Theodore out, only saying that he missed the morning skate because he was “tender.”

George Richards of the Miami Herald has been told Theodore’s injury is “not serious.”

From NHL.com’s Dan Rosen: “Clemmensen was told a day ago to be ready for the start. He was surprised, but says he is ready and it helps he has played in this series.”

— Dineen was full of praise for Theodore after Game 5. “For me that’s Theo. That’s what I expected,” the first-year coach said. “A true professional.”

— As we’ve mentioned on several occasions, Clemmensen’s playoff experience is minimal. Coming into this year he’d played seven minutes of postseason hockey and in his first-ever career playoff start, he was bombed for four goals on 27 shots.

— Markstrom’s NHL body of work is limited (eight games), but he did look impressive. The lanky Swede posted his first career shutout against the Isles in October, then proceeded to stop 40 of 41 shots the next night out against Montreal.

Unfortunately, that was his last win. Markstrom’s lost the last four games he’s played in.

Logan Couture can at least speak and eat following horrifying mouth injury

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As much as many of us suffer during a trip to the dentist, few can fathom the horrors hockey players often go through when a puck, stick or fist finds their teeth/mouths. Consult this vintage PHT post from 2010 if you want to cringe, a lot.

Much like Eddie Lack “only” dealing with a neck sprain, it’s strange to be heartened to hear that Logan Couture can speak and eat after his own painful ordeal, but that’s the positive update from the Mercury News on Tuesday.

Couture, Wilson said, did not need to have his jaw wired shut after a deflected puck caught him in the mouth on Saturday when the Sharks played the Nashville Predators.

“Hey, he can speak and eat … and his jaw isn’t wired shut!” Yeesh.

To little surprise, Couture isn’t playing on Tuesday. As far as the Sharks next three games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), that remains to be seen.

As an aside, consider this: on the same day Jonathan Drouin‘s celebrating his birthday after helping the Lightning win, Couture is lucky if he can force down some birthday cake. Life: it isn’t always fair.

PHT discussed his trip to the dentist on Monday.

More mouth pain: When David Backes felt like his face was falling off.

Athanasiou got hurt during that Lack collision, too (and he blames Rask’s hit)

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The Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings both exchanged signs of respect after Eddie Lack left last night’s game on a stretcher, but there’s a little controversy surrounding that situation … from the Red Wings’ perspective.

You see, Andreas Athanasiou may not have collided with Lack if not for a shove/cross-check by Hurricanes forward Victor Rask.

Athanasiou is out for the Red Wings tonight, and as the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James reports, he blames the Rask hit.

Here’s a screen grab of that moment via NBCSN/the Fox Sports broadcast:

Now, check it out in full motion:

It’s unfortunate that two injuries came of that overtime-clincher, though one may at least mildly defend Rask in noting that Athanasiou was really displaying his blazing speed on that play.

The Red Wings could very well be eliminated tonight, or soon, but Athanasiou has been a bright spot during a sometimes-glum season for Detroit. Hopefully, like Lack, this is merely a minor issue from an unfortunate collision.

More promising Eddie Lack news: Hurricanes label his injury a neck strain

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Yes, it feels a little weird to “cheer” a neck strain, but such injury news feels pretty fantastic for Eddie Lack.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced that he’s dealing with exactly that on Tuesday morning, not that long after Lack’s scare after being stretchered off the ice following a collision with Detroit Red Wings Andreas Athanasiou.

Lack ended up being hospitalized, but as it turns out, that was a pretty short-term situation.

With the positive news in mind, it’s already appropriate to wonder when Lack might be back, particularly since he’s been on quite a tear during Carolina’s unlikely push for a possible playoff spot. The Hurricanes didn’t provide a window of time for his recovery, and Lack himself was vague-if-positive:

In the mean time, the Hurricanes recalled Alex Nedeljkovic, who one would assume would primarily back up Cam Ward.

So, long story short: things seem very positive for Lack, though his rehab process remains cloudy.

Bruins recall McIntyre from AHL on emergency basis

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Update: As it turns out, Anton Khudobin might be the goalie dealing with an injury, according to the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy. So, tonight’s starter boils down to Tuukka Rask or Zane McIntyre.

(Rask it is.)

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Tuukka Rask was supposed to be back in goal for the Boston Bruins tonight.

But then, just a couple of hours before their game with the Nashville Predators, the B’s announced they’d recalled goalie Zane McIntyre from the AHL on an emergency basis.

It’s not yet clear why McIntyre was recalled. Rask missed Saturday’s game in Brooklyn with a lower-body injury, but coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier today that Rask was healthy and ready to go.

“Tuukka is healthy,” said Cassidy. “That’s what he indicated to me and that’s all I needed to hear. He’ll be our starter tonight.”

If Rask is unable to play, expect Anton Khudobin to get the nod.

Khudobin backstopped the B’s to a 2-1 victory over the Isles on Saturday.