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Top-tier goaltending prospect Jacob Markstrom might get the nod on Monday or Tuesday.

Florida Panthers v Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 27: Jacob Markstrom #33 of the Florida Panthers skates against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on September 27, 2010 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Florida Panthers raised some eyebrows when they decided to include netminder Jacob Markstrom on their opening game roster in place of the injured Scott Clemmensen. Jose Theodore was expected to start in the bulk of the Panthers games early on, especially given the spaced out nature of their October contests, so why keep your goaltender of the future on the team if he’s just going to warm the bench? Wouldn’t it be better to have him playing regularly in the minors?

So far the Panthers have done nothing to alleviate those concerns. Jose Theodore has predictably started in both of Florida’s first two contests and he’ll get the nod again on Saturday. However, as the Miami Herald reported, at least the Panthers might use Markstrom in one half of their only October set of two games in as many nights. That means Markstrom could record his first NHL start on Monday against Tampa Bay or Tuesday versus Washington. Either one would be a rough opponent for his first contest, but hey, at least it would be a start.

Clemmensen is expected to return in late October, so this might be the only opportunity Markstrom gets to play between the pipes before he returns to the minors.