GAME: Florida Panthers (11-15-7-1) at Ottawa Senators (15-10-3-3).TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Martin Prusek gets his first start in more than two weeks as the Ottawa Senators close a five-game homestand against the Florida Panthers.
Prusek started Ottawa's first four games this month with starter Patrick Lalime sidelined by the flu, going 3-1 while allowing just four goals. The Czech native stopped 118 of the 122 shots during that stretch after going winless in his previous four starts of the season.One of Prusek's victories came against Florida on Dec. 3, when he stopped 30
shots en route to his first career shutout in a 4-0 win.
However, Prusek was bothered by back spasms during pregame warmups at Boston on Dec. 8, forcing Lalime to start, and has not been played since.
Senators coach Jacques Martin announced Sunday that Prusek would return for this game, though Lalime will start Tuesday against Buffalo.
Lalime played well Saturday, making 24 saves in a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers.
The Senators improved to 3-1 on its homestand despite falling behind 1-0 for the 19th time in 31 games. They have gone 7-7-2-3 in those contests.
"It's an area we'd certainly like to get better in, but the fact that we responded and got some momentum afterwards and continued to play well is a nice sign," said Curtis Leschyshyn, who scored a goal for the first time since March 11.
Peter Schaefer and Jason Spezza also had goals for Ottawa, which has lost just twice in its last nine games (6-2-1).
Florida, on the other hand, has won only twice in its last 11 (2-3-5-1).
One of those wins came Saturday as Roberto Luongo made 36 saves and recorded the 18th shutout of his career in a 1-0 victory over Dallas.
"It was just one of those nights where everything was working well for me," said Luongo, who has allowed six goals in his last 10 starts.
The Panthers are 0-2-2 on the road since winning at Washington on Nov. 22.