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Panthers Off-Day News & Notes

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
By Dave Joseph for

With a steady rain falling across Ottawa, the Panthers did off-ice activities while preparing for Saturday’s final game of this three game road trip against the high-flying Senators.

The Panthers have been inconsistent during the trip, winning Tuesday in Montreal by coming from behind to win 2-1 in a shootout and then dropping a 3-2 decision Thursday in Toronto.

Goalie Tomas Vokoun, who suffered a mild ankle sprain Tuesday in Montreal, did not dress Thursday against the Maple Leafs. GM and coach Jacques Martin said Vokoun skated Friday but he would be “day to day.”

“We’re going to wait and see,” Martin said. “He’ll skate (Saturday) morning and we’ll see how everything is at that time.”

Goalie Craig Anderson, who has played well in his only two starts this season, would get the start in Ottawa if Vokoun is held out. The Panthers next game after Saturday is back home Wednesday at BankAtlantic Center against the Flyers.

The Panthers will try to win two of three games on this road trip Saturday in Ottawa and four of their last five. Nathan Horton leads the team in goals (4), points (7) and penalty minutes (22). Horton, who’s had two major fighting penalties this season, played only 13 minutes in Toronto. The young star has been one of the Panthers best players this season and has contributed in every game.

Olli Jokinen has two goals and four assists and Stephen Weiss has a goal and five assists.

The Senators beat the Canadiens 4-3 Thursday evening to improve their record to 7-1. The Eastern Conference champs are being led by Daniel Alfredsson, who has 12 points (five goals) and Jason Spezza, who scored his first goal Thursday to go along with 11 assists.

Martin Gerber has been outstanding in goal with a 6-1 record and a 2.13 goals against average. Gerber started the season in place of Ray Emery, who was recovering from off-season wrist surgery. Emery is ready to play, and his first test could come Saturday against the Panthers.

The Panthers were winless last season in four games against Ottawa.
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