Florida Panthers

Panthers lose red-hot Pirri (shoulder) for two weeks

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The Florida Panthers will be without their hottest goalscorer for the next two weeks, as the club announced on Thursday that Brandon Pirri has been sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Pirri, who suffered the injury on his first shift in a 6-2 win over Anaheim on Tuesday, had really found his groove lately after being in and out of the Florida lineup for most of the season. The former ‘Hawk had six goals in eight games prior to getting hurt, and had arguably his best outing of the season in a 4-2 win over the Islanders on Feb. 3 (one goal, one assist, four shots and nearly 16 minutes of ice time.)

The Panthers will miss Pirri’s offense. They sit just 24th in the NHL in goals per game and are still clinging to hopes of a playoff spot, heading into Thursday’s game with Minnesota just four points back of Boston for the final wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Goalie nods: Ducks start Gibson for first time in three months

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Gibson back for Anaheim

John Gibson will make his first start since Oct. 30 when the Ducks take on the ‘Canes in Carolina tonight.

Gibson, who burst onto the scene last year and appeared in four playoff games, started this season with Anaheim but has spent much of the last three months in AHL Norfolk (though he was shelved for a while with injury.)

A recent injury to Frederik Andersen — he’ll miss the next three games while on IR with an upper-body injury — and Ilya Bryzgalov’s spotty play in relief paved the way for the 21-year-old Gibson to make his return; it’ll be interesting to see if he can improve on his numbers from limited work earlier in the season (Gibson is 2-2-0 on the year, with a 2.65 GAA and .915 save percentage.)

For the ‘Canes, Cam Ward gets the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Leafs at Isles: Jonathan Bernier vs. Jaroslav Halak

Oilers at Habs: Viktor Fasth vs. Dustin Tokarski

Pens at Sens: Thomas Greiss vs. Robin Lehner

Blues at Bolts: Brian Elliott for St. Louis, Ben Bishop likely for Tampa Bay.

Jets at Preds: Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville, no word yet on a Winnipeg starter.

Panthers at Wild: Roberto Luongo vs. Devan Dubyk

Rangers at Avs: Cam Talbot for New York, no word yet on a Colorado starter.

Flames at Kings: Jonas Hiller for Calgary, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Stars captain Benn apologizes to Sedins for radio interview

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Jamie Benn has reached out to Daniel and Henrik Sedin following an appearance on a Dallas radio station in which he mocked the Vancouver captain and his brother.

The official release, from Stars president Jim Lites:

“Jamie Benn has reached out to Henrik and Daniel Sedin to apologize for the radio interview that he was a part of on Monday.

“The Dallas Stars have the utmost respect for the contributions that the two have made to both the game and to their community over the course of their great careers.

“We will not be commenting on the situation further.”

Audio of the interview, retrieved by Vancouver radio station TSN 1040, features a clip where Dallas 1310 The Ticket hosts “Bob and Dan” ask Benn and Tyler Seguin about roommates on the road, which leads to this exchange:

This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened. Back in Dec. 2011, then-Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland went on a Chicago-area radio show and called the Sedins “sisters” before suggesting the pair “might sleep in bunk beds.”

That set off a series events which included then-Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault ripping Bolland for being “an individual whose IQ is probably the size of a birdseed,” followed by Bolland apologizing for his actions.

Video: Jackman’s bouncer from center ice beats Luongo

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This hasn’t been a banner night for the goaltenders competing in the Florida Panthers game with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

First, Ilya Bryzgalov was yanked from the Ducks net after allowing three goals on eight shots.

And then this: Roberto Luongo letting a bouncer off the stick of Tim Jackman from just in front of center ice get by him. Sometimes, these things happen.

Luongo appears to have found a solution.

 

 

Bryzgalov pulled against Panthers, Gibson takes over in net

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Ilya Bryzgalov faced only eight shots against the Florida Panthers, before getting hooked early in the second period of Tuesday’s game.

However, despite not facing a huge total of shots, the three goals allowed — the final one coming on Aaron Ekblad’s ninth of the season — ended Bryzgalov’s night. John Gibson, recalled with Frederik Andersen now on IR, took over in net.

The Ducks, Pacific Division leaders and with a chance to take over top spot in the Western Conference, found themselves down 3-0, but scored less than two minutes after Bryzgalov was pulled to cut the deficit to two goals before the midway point of the second period.