Panthers’ Versteeg (upper body) questionable for Thursday versus Habs

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Panthers forward Kris Versteeg was absent from practice today and, according to Florida head coach Kevin Dineen, is questionable for Thursday’s home game against Montreal.

The Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Versteeg suffered the injury when he was hit into the boards by Washington’s Alex Ovechkin during last night’s 6-5 overtime loss to the Capitals.

Versteeg returned to the game, and even fought Ovechkin, but the 26-year-old (who’s already missed five games this season with a groin injury) was clearly shaken up after the hit.

The Panthers have to be pretty shaken up as well after blowing a late two-goal lead to the Caps. Florida now sits 4-6-2 after 12 games and has the NHL’s worst goals-against average (3.83).

Still, Dineen reportedly “wouldn’t even touch the thought of” bringing up goalie Jacob Markstrom from AHL San Antonio, where the 23-year-old is 15-14-2 with a .923 save percentage.

Florida’s tandem of Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen has combined for a .872 save percentage, the second lowest in the NHL.