With all the injuries the Panthers have endured this season, coach Kevin Dineen hasn’t had to worry about two of his players.
Since taking over as coach last season, Dineen has penciled in Tomas Fleischmann and Brian Campbell for all 124 of those games.
Last year, three players played in all 82 games for the Panthers with Mike Weaver missing over a month this season with a knee injury.
Campbell, Fleischmann, Tomas Kopecky, Jonathan Huberdeau and Shawn Matthias have played in all 42 games this season. Florida has six games left.
“You take pride in playing every game,” Campbell said. “You have to be accountable, and I want to be out there helping my team. That’s all I can do every day.”
While Campbell and Fleischmann are far away from former Panthers defensemen Jay Bouwmeester’s current NHL iron man mark of 629 consecutive games played, for Dineen, it’s been nice having those two on the ice each night.
“The way things have played out this year, you sure don’t take having them there every game for granted,” Dineen said. “These two guys have been really consistent. There’s nothing any coach likes more than a low maintenance guy who just comes to play.”
When both players came to the Panthers in 2011, few would have counted on these two being the ones to play in so many consecutive games.
Campbell missed at least 14 games in each of his final two seasons with Chicago before coming to Florida — although he did play in all 82 games twice previously.
Fleischmann missed the final three-plus months of the 2010-11 season with Colorado because of a blood condition he still has to monitor.
“I don’t think about playing every game but I’m glad it has gone like that. When you look at it after the season, you feel good about it,” Fleischmann said.
“What I’m really happy about is my health is where it was before. I still have the situation I’m dealing with and you don’t know if it could come back. But I’m taking care of it and things should be OK.”
NEWS AND NOTES
Goalie Jacob Markstrom faced the music by speaking with the media following Tuesday’s loss to the Islanders, one in which he was pulled after giving up five goals on 18 shots.
Markstrom tweeted Wednesday: “Believe it or not, the sun came out today. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.”
Markstrom, who said it was embarrassing to be pulled, has been replaced by Scott Clemmensen in two of the past three games.
Clemmensen could start Thursday against the Rangers, although Markstrom was terrific in Florida’s 3-1 win at Madison Square Garden three weeks ago.
Clemmensen has given up one goal on 25 shots in his past two relief appearances and stopped 40 shots in a win over Ottawa on April 7.Filip Kuba Tyson Strachan