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Panthers offense suffers because of injured defense

Scottie Upshall Dmitry Kulikov Jason Garrison

Florida Panthers’ Scottie Upshall, right, celebrates his goal against the Montreal Canadiens with teammates Dmitry Kulikov, left, and Jason Garrison during third period NHL hockey action Monday, Oct. 24, 2011 in Montreal. The Panthers beat the Canadiens 2-1. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)


The Florida Panthers’ biggest name (and highest-paid) defenseman Brian Campbell is still in the mix, but some difficult injuries on the blueline have affected the team on the scoreboard.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov discusses how much the team’s offense has “sputtered” without hard-shooting Jason Garrison (who leads the league’s D-men in goal scoring with 13) and smooth-passing Dmitry Kulikov. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen hopes that Florida can add some diversity to its offensive mix in light of these issues.

“You can’t be a one-trick pony, get offense from one source; it can’t be one style,’' Dineen said. “You have to have a little diversity to your game. There’s numbers of ways we’re exploring [in practice].’'

The Panthers remain first overall in the Southeast Division and the Carolina Hurricanes might maintain that lead as they’re up 2-0 against the Washington Capitals. Despite the fact that it doesn’t really seem like anyone is stepping up in the Southeast, Florida is going to have to get its act together - without some of its best catalysts.