A Blog By Steve Goldstein Twitter: @goldieonice

TAMPA (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers wrap up their season-opening four game road trip Thursday night with a match-up against cross-state rival Tampa Bay.

Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom will get the start against the Lightning Thursday and will be backed up by recently recalled Scott Clemmensen.

Starting goalie Tim Thomas did participate in the morning skate, but is likely out for this weekend’s games.

Meanwhile, Shawn Matthias did not skate this morning as he’s battling an illness and is doubtful for the Tampa game. Joey Crabb, a free agent signed over the summer should get his first playing time in Florida in Matthias’ absence.

Looking ahead to Friday’s home opener versus the Pittsburgh Penguins; the Panthers will be unveiling a brand new scoreboard as the Penguins bring superstar Sidney Crosby to town.

Before the Pittsburgh game, I’ll have an interview with new Panthers owner Vinnie Viola. The interview will air at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Florida.

The Los Angeles Kings will be in town on Sunday and remember, the Canes and Dolphins are off this week, so it’s a perfect time to come out and enjoy some NHL action.


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