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Alfredsson set to play in 1,000th game

by Brian Compton
SENATORS (43-31-5) at PANTHERS (31-35-12)

Last 10: Ottawa 6-4-0; Florida 3-5-2.

Season Series: This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams. Ottawa has won two of the first three matchups, including a 3-2 victory at Scotiabank Place on March 27.

Big Story: With Ottawa all but certain to finish fifth in the Eastern Conference, Tuesday's focus will be on Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson, who will play his 1,000th NHL game. Alfredsson, a sixth-round draft choice in 1994, leads all players selected that year in games played, goals (375), assists (614) and points (989).

"I don't think it matters from the perspective that the 1,000th game has to be something special," said Alfredsson, who'll become only the 44th player in NHL history to hit that total with a single franchise. "For me personally, you approach in it a way that you want to have a good showing. You just don't want to go out there and go through the motions. I'll try to make it as good as I can and whatever happens, happens."

Team Scope:

Senators: Ottawa will be looking to bounce back from a dismal performance on Saturday afternoon, when it suffered a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Former Isles defenseman Chris Campoli was a minus-4 and Jason Spezza was held to just three shots on goal.

"We don't want to get used to losses like this. We want to be feeling good heading into the playoffs," Spezza said.

Panthers: Florida is struggling down the stretch and has won only once in its last five games. The Panthers, who have scored only twice in their last two games, suffered a 4-1 loss against the New York Rangers at the BankAtlantic Center on Saturday night, which eliminated Florida from postseason contention for the 10th straight year.

"We knew where we stood," Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard said. "We've put ourselves in this position."

Who's Hot: Spezza has 11 points in his last five games for the Senators. … Ballard has three goals in his last four contests for Florida.

Injury Report: The Sens are hoping Milan Michalek (knee) will return on Tuesday after missing nine straight games. Filip Kuba (back) is out. … Gregory Cambell, Byron Bitz, Victor Orekovich and David Booth are out for the Panthers.

Stat Pack: By missing the playoffs for a ninth straight season, the Panthers join the California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons/Minnesota North Stars and the Colorado Rockies/New Jersey Devils franchises as the only squads to miss the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons.

Puck Drop: "It's a credit to him to play all those games with one organization. That doesn't happen very often these days and it shows his commitment to this organization and how badly he wants this team to win. To reach 1,000 games is a pretty honorable milestone, for sure.

"He plays hard, he plays well and he plays right.  I think the best (example) that I can recall in the short period of time I've been here was last year, when he broke his jaw. He missed maybe two games and came back with a full cage. We were playing well, he wanted to be part of that and he wanted to show that he wanted to help move the team in the right direction." -- Sens coach Cory Clouston on Daniel Alfredsson playing in his 1,00th NHL game

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