"It's a tough loss," captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "I think they did a good job of stretching the rink in the first 40 minutes. And I don't think until the third we kind of took command of the puck a little bit more and created more chances, but overall they were the better team."
Panthers: After Florida won three straight to close February and vault into the Southeast lead, March has brought two consecutive stumbles. Winnipeg routed the Panthers 7-0 on Thursday in Manitoba, and Nashville followed two nights later by handing Florida its fifth home loss in six outings, scoring a goal in each period for a 3-1 victory. Despite 40 shots, Wojtek Wolski scored the only goal for the Panthers. Scott Clemmensen made 20 saves for Florida.
"I think we could have had a better outcome," Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann said. "Forty shots, one goal, that's not good."
Who's Hot: Defenceman Erik Karlsson's red-hot point streak ended against the Hawks, but Jason Spezza's assist on Michalek's goal extended his to 11 games (eight goals, 14 assists). Spezza has eight goals and 21 assists in 32 career games against Florida.
Injury Report: Aside from Anderson, Ottawa has gone without Jesse Winchester (concussion) and Peter Regin (left shoulder surgery) since December … For Florida, Kris Versteeg will miss his fourth game with a lower-body injury, while Matt Bradley (upper body), Scottie Upshall (sports hernia surgery), Dmitry Kulikov (knee surgery) and Jacob Markstrom (knee) are all on injured reserve.
Stat Pack: While Ottawa has steadily improved offensively, improving to seventh league-wide in goals-per-game (2.96) and eighth on the power play (19.6 per cent), Florida's attack has struggled mightily of late, scoring just one goal over its last two games. With leading scorer Versteeg temporarily sidelined, that trend looks likely to continue.
Puck Drop: Although he didn't earn a win, Lehner's 37 saves earned him the game's second star on Friday — and some praise from his teammates.
"(Lehner) gave us a chance to come back," Alfredsson said. "He kept it close and we had a couple of chances. He did everything he could, obviously. He played a great game and made some spectacular saves. We just couldn't come up with that extra goal for him."
Lehner will make his fourth straight start tonight when the Senators face off against the Panthers. Also, Binghamton callup Rob Klinkhammer — who's collected 35 points in 35 games with the B-Sens since being acquired from the Blackhawks organization — will make his Ottawa debut. That means Zack Smith will join Kaspars Daugavins as healthy scratches up front.