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Sens aim for sunshine sweep against Panthers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

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Sens aim for sunshine sweep against Panthers
Ottawa Senators vs. Florida Panthers
SENATORS (29-22-8) at PANTHERS (27-17-11)

LAST 10: Ottawa 2-6-2; Florida 6-3-1

Season Series: It's the third meeting of the season, but the first visit by the Senators to the BankAtlantic Center. Ottawa won 4-3 at home on Oct. 27 and again by the same score in overtime on Dec. 22.

Big Story: The Panthers come back to South Florida after a terrific weekend in the New York metropolitan area, beating the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders by a combined score of 7-2 to put some room between themselves and second-place Washington in the Southeast Division. The Senators are 2-0-1 after a seven-game losing streak, including a 4-0 blanking of Tampa Bay on Tuesday — and they've won four in a row and 16 of their last 19 visits to the BankAtlantic Center.

Team Scope:

It looked like the wheels were coming off for the surprising Senators, who went 0-6-1 in a slide that surrounded the All-Star break. But they've put up five points in their last three games and got a 28-save shutout by Craig Anderson and a hat trick by Jason Spezza to win at Tampa Bay. The Senators are seventh in the East, four points ahead of eighth-place Toronto and just two behind sixth-place New Jersey.

"We came out start to finish and stuck to our game plan," Anderson said after his second shutout of the season. "We executed, did things right and got rewarded with the result."

Panthers: Florida hasn't been good away from the BankAtlantic Center this season. But the Panthers followed the same script to beat the Devils and Islanders — allow an early goal, shut down the opponent after that and take advantage of its scoring opportunities. The result was a 3-1 win at New Jersey on Saturday and a 4-1 win on Long Island 24 hours later.

As they enter the homestretch, the Panthers lead Washington by four points and have a game in hand as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

"It was a good weekend for us," coach Kevin Dineen said. "It's satisfying. We went out played hard and were rewarded for it."

Who's Hot: Spezza has 10 points in his last four games. Forward Bobby Butler has five assists during Ottawa's 2-0-1 streak … Kris Versteeg, who leads the Panthers with 22 goals and 48 points, has five goals and four assists in his last nine games.

Injury Report: Ottawa is without forwards Peter Regin (shoulder) and Brad Winchester (concussion) … Florida is without three of its top six defencemen — Ed Jovanovski (hand), Jason Garrison (upper body) and Dmitry Kulikov (knee). The Panthers are also missing forward Scottie Upshall (abdominal surgery) and Marco Sturm (knee surgery).

Stat Pack: Ottawa has won the last eight games between the teams, seven in regulation. The Panthers haven't beaten the Senators in South Florida since winning 5-2 on March 31, 2009 … The Panthers are trying for their fourth straight win at home. It would be their longest streak at the BankAtlantic Center since winning five in a row to close out January in 2010.

Puck Drop: The Senators have their fathers along on the two-game swing through Florida — they've gone 4-0-1 in the past three seasons with their dads in the building.

"We hope to keep that going. I guess it's the fear of the fathers," Spezza said after Tuesday's win. "It's been great having them around. Our record's been real good. It was a real fun couple of days with them. I thought it was real great of (coach Paul MacLean) to let them come in here before the game to see our meetings, see what we go through. It was nice to get a win in front of them."

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 04 '12 OTT 2 at FLA 4 M. Samuelsson
Feb 15 '12 OTT 6 at FLA 2 B. Butler
Dec 22 '11 FLA 3 at OTT 4 - OT B. Butler
Oct 27 '11 FLA 3 at OTT 4 N. Foligno
J. Spezza60253863+32682
E. Karlsson59104353+102812
D. Alfredsson54202343+81272
M. Michalek55251439-31472
N. Foligno60122133-58112
S. Gonchar5322729-33610
C. Greening60121527-63230
Z. Smith60131023+56713
F. Kuba5151621+162031
E. Condra5971320+122401
C. Neil519918-1010120
B. Butler456915+71204
C. Phillips5821315+11411
K. Turris335914+72102
J. Cowen6041014-42701
K. Daugavins514610-31201
J. Winchester28257+32200
B. Lee32077-42700
Z. Konopka49325-416811
S. Da Costa22325-9800
P. Regin10224+3200
D. Rundblad24134-11600
M. Carkner23112-22900
J. O'Brien7101-1200
N. Filatov9011+1400
M. Zibanejad9011-3200
M. Borowiecki2000-1200
A. Petersson1000+0000
M. Hoffman1000-1000
C. Anderson5427-19-614616292.93.910
A. Auld132-3-2322733.28.883
R. Lehner11-0-02252.00.920
K. Versteeg54222648+43275
T. Fleischmann56182543-42253
S. Weiss54132740+64444
B. Campbell5633639-7410
D. Kulikov4642024-52821
J. Garrison54131023+61482
S. Matthias55101222+12511
T. Kopecky5561521-112611
M. Samuelsson297916+21030
M. Goc3451015+2621
S. Bergenheim3612214-23631
M. Weaver5601414+1800
M. Santorelli47729-71811
M. Bradley43358-33100
E. Jovanovski43268-101910
J. Skille35347-102601
E. Gudbranson47235-174500
M. Repik16235-3610
M. Sturm34213-122501
E. Dadonov15213-4200
K. Barch36123-18700
S. Upshall17123-22501
T. Strachan9123+2500
T. Kennedy27112-11401
K. Ellerby27022-5600
B. Thomas7101+0000
M. Cullen6011+2200
D. Booth6011-6200
J. Madden15000-3200
R. Carter7000-1600
B. Kearns5000+01000
C. Robak2000+1000
G. Rallo1000+0000
J. Theodore3315-9-5769132.48.917
S. Clemmensen2210-5-5545892.74.908
J. Markstrom72-4-1172222.66.923
B. Foster10-0-0010.001.000