PANTHERS (25-27-7) at SENATORS (19-31-9)
TV: RDS, FS-F (HD), SNET-E (HD)
Florida 3-5-2; Ottawa 2-6-2
This is the second of four meetings between these clubs. Ottawa took the first game 5-3 at home on Oct. 28 with goals from five different players. The Sens have won their last two games over the Panthers at Scotiabank Place.
Recently, the Senators have struggled to find wins no matter which arena they play in, but they have really stalled on their home ice. Ottawa's current 10-game winless streak at Scotiabank Place is its longest since the 1995-96 season when the Sens dropped 15 straight at home. Newly-acquired goalie Craig Anderson
should get the start for Ottawa, which would mark the home debut for his new club.
It appears when Florida wins it's rarely ever in convincing fashion and Saturday's 3-2 shootout victory over rival Tampa Bay was another example of how things have been going recently. Of the nine total wins that the Cats earned in the 2011 calendar year, a 3-0 triumph over the New York Rangers on Jan. 2 was the only game where they had a margin of victory greater than one.
The Panthers' most recent game was a poor showing, as they fell to the Islanders 5-1 at the Nassau Coliseum. Florida has now dropped three of its last four games.
"There are no excuses," coach Pete DeBoer told reporters after Monday's game. "They were the more desperate team. It's frustrating, and there were 20 guys who were bad."
Losers of 13 of their last 15 games, the Sens are currently in a free fall that could land them in last place in the entire NHL once it's all over. As of Wednesday's game, Ottawa held just a one-point lead over the last-place Edmonton Oilers.
If there is one silver lining that could be found within Ottawa's recent rough patch, it was probably Saturday's 1-0 shootout victory at the Toronto Maple Leafs in which Anderson made 47 saves in the debut with his new club.
"He was in the zone all night," teammate Jason Spezza
said of Anderson following the game. "He just looked solid and we're happy to have him."
The Panthers' David Booth
has 2 goals and 1 assist over his last four games. … Erik Karlsson
continues to impress as he leads the Senators with 32 points this season which, as of Tuesday, was also good for 20th on the NHL list of defensive scoring leaders.
On the injured list for the Panthers is Shawn Matthias
(broken ankle), Byron Bitz (sports hernia), Evgeny Dadonov
(broken finger) and Dmitry Kulikov
(ankle). … For the Senators, defenseman Sergei Gonchar
remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
During their 10-game home winless streak, the Senators have been outscored 39-18.
It's difficult to find the motivation to go all out game after game, especially when you've hit a roadblock as large as the Senators have recently. However, the Ottawa players are trying their best to keep a positive attitude.
"We've got nothing to lose out there, we're just going out and playing," forward Chris Neil
said. "That's how we've got to approach it. We've got a lot of young guys in the lineup now with the trades that have happened. We're working hard, that's all we can ask."