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Senators-Panthers Preview @NHLdotcom
Senators-Panthers Preview

GAME: Ottawa Senators (20-4-0) at Florida Panthers (9-14-4).

TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Florida Panthers seek their first three-game winning streak of the season as they play host to the Ottawa Senators.

The Panthers have won consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 20-25 and have won three of their last five overall after a 12-game losing streak. Olli Jokinen scored a power-play goal with 1:03 to play in overtime, lifting Florida to a 4-3 win Saturday over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Nathan Horton added two goals and has scored three in two games after missing the previous 10 with a sprained knee. The former first-round pick has 10 goals in 17 games this season.

"I'm in front playing with those two great players (Jokinen and Gary Roberts)," Horton said. "I'm just glad to be a part of it."

Roberts had three assists to notch his first three-point game since Dec. 13, 2003. He has 11 goals and 26 points in 35 lifetime games against Ottawa.

The Panthers have lost four straight games to the Senators and are 8-22-2-0 the last 32 games against them.

With 40 points, the Senators are off to their best start in franchise history, easily eclipsing the previous high of 30 points through 24 games established in the 2000-01 and 2002-03 seasons.

Ottawa leads the league in goals scored (109) and fewest goals allowed (49). The last team to accomplish that feat was the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens, who won their third of four consecutive Stanley Cup titles that season.

The Senators, who start a four-game road trip with his rescheduled game, are coming off a 5-1 win Friday over the Los Angeles Kings.

Dany Heatley, who had his 22-game points streak end in a 3-0 loss Thursday at Boston, had two goals while Dominik Hasek made 28 saves for Ottawa in a fight-filled third period.

The Senators racked up 65 third-period penalty minutes and will be without defenseman Zdeno Chara for this game. Chara received an automatic one-game suspension by getting an instigator penalty in the final five minutes of regulation, and Senators coach Bryan Murray was fined $10,000.

"It was kind of out of control and I decided to do what was right for my team," said Chara, who was upset Kings center Sean Avery punched the helmet off Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek. "At that point, you're frustrated. You don't really look at how much time is left in the game. You just do what's right for your team."

Hasek is 11-1-1-0 in his last 13 games against the Panthers and 20-7-2-0 lifetime.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 4): Senators - 40 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Panthers - 22 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Daniel Alfredsson, 20 goals; Jason Spezza, 32 assists and 43 points; Chara and Brian McGrattan, 72 PIM. Panthers - Jokinen, 12 goals, 14 assists and 26 points; Chris Gratton, 39 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 4): Senators - Power play: 22.1 percent (33 for 149), 3rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.7 percent (137 for 158), 2nd. Panthers - Power play: 13.9 percent (21 for 151), 28th. Penalty killing: 79.8 percent (139 for 174), 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Hasek (14-4-0, 3 SO, 1.94 GAA); Ray Emery (6-0-0, 1, 2.30). Panthers - Roberto Luongo (9-12-4, 2, 3.08); Jamie McLennan (0-2-0, 2.91).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 17; Senators, 4-1. At Kanata, Ontario, Alfredsson scored two power-play goals in a four-goal third period while Hasek made 31 saves.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 8-2-0 on the road; Panthers - 7-5-1 at home.

Associated Press
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