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Stillman Out

Tuesday, 11.18.2008 / 1:00 PM ET / Preview
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Stillman Out
Forward Cory Stillman (left) will be out in tonight's re-match with the Lightning. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

TAMPA – The Panthers will face a different Lightning team here tonight than the one they shutout last week, and they’ll have to do it without Cory Stillman.

Coach Peter DeBoer said Tuesday morning after the team’s morning skate that Stillman is out at least through the remainder of the week due to symptoms of a concussion he suffered Nov. 2 in Atlanta.

“He left practice (Monday) and thought it was the flu,” DeBoer said. “It looks like it’s a reappearance of some concussion symptoms from before. He’ll be out indefinitely, for sure he’ll miss this week.”

Stillman played against Tampa and Detroit last week, “but I think (the concussion symptoms) affected him,” DeBoer said.

“I think he tried to battle through it,” he added. “When you want to play and help the team I think you ignore some of the symptoms. It’s been there for a few days. It’s not something you want to mess around with.”

With Stillman out, DeBoer will start the game with rookie Michael Frolik alongside Nathan Horton and Rostislav Olesz. Although Frolik hasn’t scored this season, he has played well.

“I think you look at players who compliment other players,” DeBoer said. “Even though he hasn’t scored he has the ability to create offense. He has a little bit of speed to his game, good hands, good creativity. He’s getting opportunities, which for me is important. We’ll give Michael a shot (with Horton and Olesz) and, hopefully, he’ll get the job done.”

Frolik said it’s “been hard,” missing several chances, including one open net. “I just can’t put it in,” he said. “I just have to play hard at practice, shoot more at practice and I have to think the right way and think it’s going to come.”


The Panthers will face a new-look Lightning team. Interim coach Rick Tocchet, who replaced Barry Melrose, is mixing things up. Although they lost Sunday to Carolina in a shootout, the Lightning were much more aggressive than they had been earlier in the year and they held Carolina to one, third-period shot.

“They’re a very talented team,” DeBoer said. “Obviously, with the coaching change you’re always going to get a shot of energy anytime there’s a new voice, and I expect that tonight. I expect to see a different team than the one we saw in Florida, and we’ll have to be ready for that because they do have a lot of talent on paper and its just a matter of time before they start scoring goals with the players they can throw at you.”

In an effort to help rookie Steven Stamkos, Tocchet has him practicing on the first line with Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, and he will see time with those two All-Stars this evening.

“We got to give him some more minutes… get his confidence level up and his energy level up,” said Tocchet Tuesday morning after the Lightning’s morning skate.

Tocchet said his philosophy is pretty simple. He wants the intensity level up at practice and he wants players focused. “We’re only asking for 40 minutes (on the ice most days for practice),” he said. “They got 22 hours off the rest of the day. If you can’t be in here focused for 40 minutes of an hour…”

With a smile on his face, Tocchet joked, “If Allen Iverson was here he’d kill me on this, but it starts with practice and it starts with focus.”


Tomas Vokoun gets the starts in goal for the Panthers…The Lightning will be without Ryan Malone (leg injury). Ryan Craig will be a healthy scratch, Noah Welch for the Panthers...




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01

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