A few of the Panthers stars might be hurting heading into the new season.
Reports out of South Florida this weekend indicated that linemates Olli Jokinen and Joe Nieuwendyk left a Saturday practice with injuries. Both players will be out of the team's final preseason game Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jokinen injured his groin and Nieuwendyk aggravated a hip flexor muscle, and neither is 100 percent for Wednesday's season opener against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Coach Jacques Martin said he didn't think either injury was serious.
"It's the last thing I wanted now, four days before the season starts," Jokinen told reporters Saturday. "I just skated straight down and it happened. I don't know how come things like that happen. It never has before. It wasn't like I had a bad warmup; I had a good sweat going on the ice."
Nieuwendyk was previously held out of the first three preseason games because of a sore groin.
Defenseman Eric Cairns will also be out Monday and is listed as day-to-day after an MRI revealed a hairline fracture in his left ankle.