NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 8th (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (41-14-5) at Florida Panthers (23-29-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators aim for their sixth consecutive victory tonight, as they battle the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
The Senators last played on Monday when they posted a shutout victory over the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning. Ray Emery stopped 31 shots to earn his second shutout this season as the Senators beat the Lightning, 4-0, at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Antoine Vermette, Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher and Peter Schaefer scored a goal apiece and Dany Heatley notched his 41st assist of the season for Ottawa.
Heatley and Spezza each pushed their point scoring streak to five games. Heatley has three goals and four assists during the run, while Spezza has two goals and three helpers.
With 87 points, the Senators are first place in the Northeast Division. They currently hold a four-point edge over the Buffalo Sabres.
Ottawa is playing the third test of a five-game road trip tonight. The Sens are 18-8-4 as the visiting team this season.
The Panthers have dropped three in a row, but hope to change that tonight when they begin a five-game homestand. Florida's latest setback came Monday night in Atlanta. Slava Kozlov scored the lone goal in the shootout to lift the Thrashers over the Panthers, 4-3.
After Kari Lehtonen turned aside all three shooters from Florida, Kozlov went right at Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo and fired a quick wrist shot from the slot that sailed over the netminder's shoulder for the game-winner.
Olli Jokinen, whose name has popped up in multiple trade rumors, tallied two goals, his seventh game with at least two goals this season, and Martin Gelinas added a goal and two assists for the Panthers. Luongo made 31 saves in the loss.
Luongo is expected to make his 19th straight start tonight, which will break his own franchise record.
The Panthers are 15-8-4 as the host team this season.
Ottawa is 2-0 against Florida this season and has won five straight and six of the last seven matchups.
03/08 13:21:33 ET