Evidently, the knee injury sustained by defenseman Ed Jovanovski is more serious than originally suspected as the 36-year-old captain will be out at least another week, meaning he will miss the next three games against the Caps, Canadiens and Lightning. The Panthers, always coy about injuries, aren't revealing any details. It certainly not a bruise, so that leaves some kind of internal injury such as a possible strained MCL which doesn't require surgery, just time and rehab. The Panthers are sticking with six defensemen for now as Tyson Strachan has stepped up since being a five-game scratch while he got in better condition. Strachan played in San Antonio for some of the lockout but he missed the last five weeks with an injury. Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, whose game picked up dramatically on the recent road trip as he adjusted from the KHL to NHL, was limping around the locker room in D.C. Saturday, but apparently the ice on his ankle was just precautionary as he practiced today as my colleague Dieter Kurtenbach reported. Alex Kovalev, who was a healthy scratch the last two games, looks like he'll be back in the lineup in Tuesday's rematch with the Caps as he skated with Tomas Kopecky and Marcel Goc today. Jack Skille was on that line for the last two games. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen will choose from Skille, George Parros, Shawn Matthias and Jerred Smithson as his healthy scratch Tuesday. It could be Parros turn. Although Jose Theodore has played lousy against the Caps since he left them for Minnesota a few years ago, he'll probably be back in the net after getting yanked Saturday night (5 goals on 21 shots).
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