By David Dwork

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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers made a roster move on Tuesday, adding a veteran goaltender.

The Panthers claimed Antti Niemi off waivers, a move that likely means Roberto Luongo may be out longer than expected.

Niemi was waived by Pittsburgh after a rough start to the season as the backup to Matt Murray.

“Antti is a proven veteran who further stabilizes our organization’s goaltending depth,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. “We’re happy to welcome him to South Florida.”

Luongo injured his right hand during a game against those same Penguins last Friday and was placed on Injured Reserve the next day.

It was believed that Luongo’s injury was not long-term, though no update has been given by the team or head coach Bob Boughner.

Niemi, 34, struggled in his first season with the Penguins, allowing 16 goals over three games, all losses.

He was released by the Dallas Stars in June before signing with Pittsbugh shortly after.

In 2010 Niemi backstopped the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup title and has been a solid goaltender throughout his career.

He should join the Panthers sometime this week, though he will not be with the team Tuesday night when they wrap up a brief road trip in Montreal.

Florida’s next game will be Thursday at home against the Anaheim Ducks.


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