Game Day 5

1. The set up:

The Senators are in the final five games of their 2023-24 NHL season and looking to not only finish on a high note but also pick up their first win against division rival Florida Panthers here in Southern Florida. Thus far the Panthers have taken all three meetings though the closes game of the series happened at Amerant Bank Arena back in February when it took overtime to decide a winner.

Fresh off an exciting overtime win over the Washington Capitals the Senators will look to carry that momentum into this contest. While the Sens are out of playoff contention there is likely a little extra motivation tonight after the Panthers came and handed them a 6-0 loss on home ice last week, the group will want to make right for that as they continue to emphasize finishing the season strong. 

The Panthers are in need of any points they can get right now after falling to the Bruins in overtime on Saturday, they now hold only a three point lead on the Maple Leafs for home ice advantage in the playoffs while the Maple Leafs own a game in hand. A tough stretch of late the Panthers will look to carry momentum from their win over the Senators last week as it's their only regulation win since March 24. While their goaltending has been their true strength this year, the Panthers can hurt teams in a lot of different ways as evidenced by the last meeting between these two that saw six different goal scorers for the Panthers. 

As the Senators look to avenge that last loss and play spoiler once again, while the Panthers look to maintain their home ice advantage this should be a good showing tonight in South Florida.

2. Roster report:

The Senators didn't do their line rushes at morning skate today giving an indication of how they may line up this evening. However, Jacques Martin indicated that there would likely be no changes to the line-up tonight and that Joonas Korpisalo looks set to start again. Tim Stützle did participate in the skate this morning though he was donning a non-contact jersey so will not be returning tonight. Below is how the Senators lined up against the Washington Capitals Sunday evening.

Projected Lines Article

3. Who to watch:

While history isn't always the best indicator of the future, it can give us a glimpse into what may work. In this case we need look no further than the last time the Senators were in South Florida facing the Panthers and the player that had the greatest impact was Thomas Chabot who tallied a goal and an assist, connecting on both of the Senators goals on the day.

OTT@FLA: Chabot scores goal against Sergei Bobrovsky

Chabot has been held to just 46 games thus far this season, but his impact when he has played can't be understated. Averaging 23:21 of ice time this season, Chabot has been the quarterback of this blue line core when healthy. In 46 games this season he has eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points and will look to draw on the success he had here last time to add to those tallies.

4. Sens vs Atlantic:

Between the sheer volume of games within the division and the playoff format that makes divisional games mean a little more, it's safe to say that divisional rivalries can be fiery. While things haven't gone the way the Senators had hoped coming into the season, they seem to have done their part within the Atlantic Division. In 22 games this season the Senators have accumulated a 12-8-2 record within the division and secured at least a 0.500% points percentage. 

However, heading into another tilt with a Florida team that has cost the Senators five points already this season they will look to get the win tonight to secure not just a 0.500% points percentage but a winning record within the division. Four the the Senators final five games are against Atlantic Division opponents with tonight's game against Florida, followed by Thursday night against Tampa Bay, then the final home game against Montreal on April 13 before finishing the season in Boston on April 16. Playoffs may not be on the line but the history of these divisional battles should ensure that these will be fun games to watch.

5. Where to watch:

Tonight's game can be found live in English on TSN5 and in French on RDS2. Fans looking for the radio call can tune into TSN1200 and Unique FM 94,5 for the English and French calls respectively.