Florida Panthers recall Kyle Rau and Mike Matheson from Portland

Cats reach for heralded rookies to provide needed spark

Dealing with a depleted lineup and a sputtering offense that has produced just two goals in the last three games, the Florida Panthers have summoned rookies Kyle Rau and Mike Matheson from the AHL's Portland Pirates to Sunrise. Both players have yet to see any NHL action, expect that change Saturday night when the Panthers face the Winnipeg Jets.

Rau is a former University of Minnesota standout who is tied with Portland Pirates teammate Rob Schremp for the club lead in goals with 17. The 23-year-old has added 10 helpers for 27 points in his 48 AHL games this season. Rau recently ended a long cold spell, so hopefully the Panthers are inserting the small, but talented winger into the lineup at the right time.

Matheson, a fine two-way defenseman who attended Boston College, has suited up in 43 games for the Pirates this year and leads the club with a stellar +14 rating. The 21-year-old has scored 5 goals and 9 assists to along with 26 PIM.

Returning to the Pirates, who are in the midst of a seven-game road trip, are defenseman Brent Regner and forward John McFarland.