GAME: Ottawa Senators (41-22-10-6) at Florida Panthers (28-33-14-4).
TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Still focused on the Northeast Division title, the Ottawa Senators play what
figures to be the easiest of their remaining three games when they continue a
six-game trip against the Florida Panthers.
The Senators are battling Boston and Toronto for the Northeast Division
title and one of the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference. After facing
Florida, Ottawa concludes its trip Friday at Philadelphia before finishing the
regular season Saturday at home against Toronto.
Chris Phillips scored with one minute left in overtime, lifting the Senators
to a wild 5-4 victory at Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay on Monday.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson, Marian Hossa and Mike Fisher scored for Ottawa,
which allowed Dave Andreychuk's tying goal with 28 seconds left in regulation.
"I think we showed a lot of determination to come back and not give up, not
to get down, continue to play hard even though this place was just rocking,"
Senators defenseman Brian Pothier said. "It's a fun time. It was like a
Ottawa, 2-1-1 on the six-game trip, played without starting goalie Patrick
Lalime, who sprained his left knee in Saturday's 2-2 tie against Toronto.
With Lalime not expected to play Wednesday, Martin Prusek will make his
second consecutive start. Prusek is 2-0 with a .961 save percentage in two
starts against the Panthers this season.
Alfredsson's 32nd goal was the 219th of his career, moving him past Alexei
Yashin into first place on the Senators' career list.
Though the Panthers will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year,
they are assured of their best season since the 1999-00 team finished with 98
Kristian Huselius and Matt Cullen scored power-play goals and Roberto Luongo
stopped 28 shots as Florida ended a five-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory
over Carolina on Monday.
"It's nice to win," Cullen said. "It's so much more fun to be around
everyone when you win. These last three games are important for us. We want to
get some wins."
The 28 saves was a relatively low total for Luongo, who has already faced
2,408 shots this season - the second-most in NHL history. Felix Potvin faced
2,438 with Toronto in 1996-97.
Florida has lost five straight home games against Ottawa.
STANDINGS: Senators - 98 points, 3rd place, 1 PB, Northeast Division.
Panthers - 74 points, 4th place, 30 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Hossa, 35 goals; Alfredsson, 48 assists and 80
points; Chris Neil, 173 PIM. Panthers - Olli Jokinen, 24 goals, 28 assists and
52 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 158 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 29): Senators - Power play: 21.5 percent (78
for 362), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (267 for 332), 20th.
Panthers - Power play: 16.6 percent (49 for 296), 13th. Penalty killing: 86.4
percent (312 for 361), 2nd.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Prusek (15-5-3, 3 SO, 1.99 GAA); Ray Emery (1-0-0,
1.00). Panthers - Luongo (25-32-13, 7, 2.34); Steve Shields (3-5-1, 3.38).
SEASON SERIES: Senators, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 22; Senators, 3-2, OT. At Ottawa, Todd White scored 94
seconds into overtime, leading the Senators to their third straight win.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 18-15-5-1 on the road; Panthers - 16-14-6-3 at