Theodore, Markstrom make strides in recovery

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The Florida Panthers have a slim lead over the Washington Capitals for the Southeast Division lead – and the place in the East’s top eight that comes with it. They’re doing so with solid backup Scott Clemmensen, but the Panthers would prefer to have at least one of Jacob Markstrom and Jose Theodore in the fold as well.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov reports that both goalies are making solid progress with their knee injuries. In fact, Theodore might even have a chance to start against the Capitals in tomorrow’s important game.

Fialkov believes that Clemmensen’s more likely to play on Tuesday, but the Panthers must be pleased that their effective No. 1 goalie and his talented understudy are getting healthier.

(Oh, and in it-hardly-seems-like news, Marco Sturm’s parade of injuries continues with minor knee surgery.)

Nathan Horton skates, but doesn’t travel with Bruins

The Boston Bruins traveled to Washington without Nathan Horton this weekend but the big forward is still showing some signs of progress.’s Joe Haggerty reports that Horton is starting to skate again, although it’s anyone’s guess how far he is from taking contact in practice – let alone in NHL games.

Horton is attempting to come back from a “mild concussion” after Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Tom Sestito hit him on Jan. 22. Bruins coach Claude Julien describes him as “day-to-day,” which can really mean anything.

Haggerty points out that the Bruins were scoring 2.4 goals per game without Horton before they got things together a bit by beating the Washington Capitals 4-1.

Stars put Brenden Morrow back on the IR

The Dallas Stars enjoyed having their captain Brenden Morrow back for two games in February, but the team announced that he’s back on the injured reserve again. Mike Heika indicates that the back and neck issues that have been hounding Morrow much of this season are acting up again.

The Stars recalled young winger Tomas Vincour to take his place (or at least give the team wiggle room to shuffle forwards around). Vincour’s been in and out of the Stars lineup, but he’s certainly not at the point in his career to replace Morrow’s production.

This has been a rough year for Morrow, especially after scoring a career-high 33 goals last season. There’s even been some trade talk regarding the Stars captain, although it’s tough to imagine that being a good move for a franchise that is trying to draw fans back after struggling at the box office in the post-Modano era.

Nathan Horton makes strides in concussion recovery – just not on the ice


Nathan Horton is the latest Boston Bruins forward to deal with recurring concussion issues but’s Joe Haggerty reports that he’s making progress. Horton still isn’t at the point where he’s making those strides in a literal way – on the ice – though.

Horton has been sidelined for two games and counting thanks to a blindside hit by Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Tom Sestito. He recently recovered from a high-profile concussion suffered in Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, although it’s unlikely that this issue is as serious as the blow administered by Aaron Rome.

Horton has experienced an up-and-down season, but the results have been pretty solid overall. He has 17 goals and 32 points in 46 games with a robust 54 penalty minutes.

The Bruins are a deep enough team to withstand this loss for a while, but there’s little doubt that the team would prefer to keep the Horton, Milan Lucic and David Krejci line together as often as possible.

Video: Crosby, Shero clear the air about neck injury


As promised, here’s video footage of Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero’s press conference clarifying the star center’s neck issues:

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