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Senators field veteran team but still fall 2-1 to Panthers in NHL exhibition

NHL.com @NHL

OTTAWA - Despite a veteran presence in the lineup, the Ottawa Senators dropped a second straight pre-season game to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.

Jordan Leopold and Dmitri Kulikov scored as the Panthers defeated the Senators 2-1. The Senators were beaten 3-1 by the Panthers on Tuesday.

Ottawa fans got their first look at Alex Kovalev, Jonathan Cheechoo and prospect Erik Karlsson.

While Kovalev and Cheechoo will be counted on to make up much of the offence lost in the Dany Heatley trade, Karlsson is just hoping to make enough of an impact to make the team.

Karlsson, the Senators first-round pick, 15th overall, in 2008, played his second consecutive game and didn't look out of place.

The Panthers opened the scoring on a power play seven minutes into the first period. Senators goalie Brian Elliott left the right side of his net wide open, and Leopold took advantage.

Despite a couple of good chances in the opening period, the Senators were unable to tie the game.

Ottawa's newcomers made an impression on the Senators first goal. Kovalev started the play that led to Phillips' power-play goal, while Cheechoo had an assist.

Both Kovalev and Cheechoo saw substantial ice time on the power play Wednesday.

The Panthers regained the lead midway through the second as Kulikov beat Ottawa goalie Mike Brodeur on the first shot he faced after replacing Elliott midway through the period.

The Senators are back in action Friday as they play a home-and-home with the Montreal Canadiens.

Notes: Milan Milchalek, acquired from San Jose as part of the Heatley trade, skated with his new teammates for the first time Wednesday.

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