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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, April 13th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (35-34-10) at Ottawa Senators (51-20-8), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators hope to clinch the Northeast Division title tonight when they welcome the Florida Panthers to Scotiabank Place.

Ottawa is six points ahead of second-place Buffalo in the division race. A point this evening will secure the crown.

The Sens have moved one point ahead of second-place Carolina in the Eastern Conference race. The Hurricanes are idle tonight.

On Tuesday, Zdeno Chara scored two goals, including the game-winner just 40 seconds into overtime, as Ottawa posted a 4-3 victory over Boston.

Antoine Vermette and Chris Kelly each scored for the Senators, who ended a season-long four game losing streak. Michael Morrison, making his first start with Ottawa, stopped 18 shots for the win.

Chara (bruised hand) and Wade Redden (personal) both returned to the lineup and bolstered the Sens' blueline.

Ottawa will visit Toronto on Saturday night.

Florida, meanwhile, continues to play out the string. The Cats have lost four of their last five games, including Tuesday's 6-5 overtime tilt in Toronto. The Maple Leafs' Mats Sundin posted four goals and a pair of assists for his seventh career hat trick while Tomas Kaberle scored the game-winner with 11 seconds left in OT.

Joe Nieuwendyk posted his 14th career hat-trick for the Panthers, who have dropped four of five. Olli Jokinen and Jay Bouwmeester also scored while Nathan Horton added a pair of assists.

Goaltender Jamie McLennan finished with 47 saves in the loss.

The Panthers will host Washington on Saturday.

Ottawa is 2-1 against Florida this season, but the road team has won seven of the last 10 meetings.

04/13 10:52:28 ET

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