NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 23rd (All times eastern)
Florida Panthers (25-27-7) at Ottawa Senators (19-31-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try to win consecutive games for the first time in two months when they welcome the Florida Panthers for tonight's clash at Scotiabank Place.
Ottawa recently suffered through an 11-game losing streak from Jan. 14-Feb. 9, but the club has a 2-1-1 mark over its last four games. After Saturday's 1-0 shootout win over Toronto, the Senators have a chance to record back-to-back victories for the first time since they defeated Nashville and Pittsburgh on Dec. 23 and 26, respectively.
The Senators also have an opportunity to end a 10-game home losing streak tonight. Ottawa last won at home against the Penguins on Dec. 26 and is just 9-16-5 as the host this season.
Ottawa, which is last in the Eastern Conference with 47 points, had lost two straight tilts before earning Saturday's close win over their Northeast Division rivals.
Jason Spezza scored the lone goal in the shootout for either team and gave his club the 1-0 road victory over the Maple Leafs. Spezza used a simple wrister to beat James Reimer's glove hand. In the third round, Nikolai Kulemin lost control of the puck before he could get a shot off to seal the win for the Sens.
Craig Anderson, who finished with 47 saves, recorded his first shutout of the season in his first start with Ottawa, which won for just the third time in 22 games. Anderson came to the Senators last week when Ottawa dealt goaltender Brian Elliott to Colorado.
Anderson is expected to get the start tonight when Ottawa faces one of his former clubs. Anderson spent three years with the Panthers before signing with Colorado following the 2008-09 campaign. He is 1-0-1 with a 2.94 goals-against average in three career games against Florida.
Ottawa is hoping to get defenseman Chris Campoli and forward Jesse Winchester back tonight. Campoli has sat out the last two games with a lower-body injury and Winchester hasn't played since Feb. 7 due to a knee injury. Both players practiced on Tuesday and are questionable for tonight.
Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar has also missed the last two games with a lower-body injury and could return sometime this week. However, forward Peter Regin is out indefinitely with a left shoulder injury suffered in Toronto.
The Panthers have lost three of four, five of seven and eight of their last 11 games. Florida is coming off Monday's blowout loss against the New York Islanders, who received a hat trick from Matt Moulson in the 5-1 home win over Florida.
Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 36 shots for the Panthers.
"I'm not going to let our guys off the hook and I'm not going to discredit what [the Islanders] did. They played a real good game," said Florida head coach Peter DeBoer.
Florida is currently 10 points ahead of Ottawa in the East standings, but the Panthers are still eight points out of playoff spot.
Tonight's tilt marks the third stop on a four-game road trip for the Panthers, who are 13-16-1 as the visiting club this year. Florida will complete the trip Friday in Atlanta.
Ottawa beat the Panthers, 5-3, on Oct. 28 at Scotiabank Place, giving the Senators wins in three straight and four of the last five meetings in this series. Florida has dropped two in a row and six of its last nine in Canada's capital city.
02/23 10:51:31 ET