NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 19th
(All times Eastern)
Florida Panthers (13-17-5) at Ottawa Senators (14-16-6), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Panthers will try to extend their longest
winning streak of the season to five games when they visit the Ottawa Senators
for Thursday's Atlantic Division clash at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Panthers have won four in a row for the first time since a five-game
tear from March 11-20, 2012 and Peter Horachek's club also has six victories
over its last seven outings. Florida is 10-8-1 since Horachek took over head
coaching duties on an interim basis following the firing of Kevin Dineen in
Florida, which is 2-0 so far on a four-game road trip, is coming off Tuesday's
3-1 win in Toronto. Sean Bergenheim scored and had an assist and Aleksander
Barkov had a pair off helpers to help the Panthers improve to 6-10-2 as the
road team this season.
Tomas Fleischmann and Brad Boyes also scored and Scott Clemmensen stopped 28
shots for the Panthers.
"They were on the road last night and came in late ... so we have to take
advantage," Boyes said of the Maple Leafs. "We got some goals early and it was
kind of big to get that momentum."
Jonathan Huberdeau missed his second straight game for Florida on Tuesday and
the young forward is questionable for tonight with a foot injury. Former
Senators forward Jesse Winchester is also questionable for Thursday after
sitting out the last game with a bruised hand.
Florida will have to end a lengthy drought in Canada's capital city if it
wants to extend its winning streak on Thursday. The Senators have won seven
straight on home ice against the Panthers, who last won in Ottawa on Jan. 9,
The Senators are 2-0 against Florida this season and have claimed four of five
and 13 of the last 15 meetings in this series. The Panthers enter tonight's
divisional tilt only three points behind Ottawa for sixth-place in the
Ottawa has battled inconsistency all season long and enters Thursday having
lost five of its last eight games. The Senators dropped their second tilt in
three outings on Wednesday, when they were slammed 5-2 in a road game against
the New Jersey Devils.
New Jersey led 3-0 by the early stages of the second period on Wednesday and
Ottawa was never able to get the deficit under two goals after that. Colin
Greening and Milan Michalek scored for the Senators, who couldn't maintain
momentum from a 3-2 overtime victory against St. Louis on Monday.
"We're a long, long way from being an elite team," said Senators head coach
Robin Lehner stopped 28 shots in Wednesday's defeat, but Craig Anderson
expects to get the call tonight. Anderson, who played for Florida from
2006-09, is 10-1-1 with a 1.91 goals against average against his former team.
Ottawa is opening a three-game homestand tonight and will play six of its next
seven at Canadian Tire Centre. The Sens are just 7-9-3 as the host in 2013-14
after going 15-6-3 last season.
12/19 11:16:23 ET