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Florida Panthers Visit Ottawa Senators: Game 35 Preview

The last time the Panthers visited Ottawa, Nick Foligno scored the game winner with four seconds left to send Florida away empty handed. The Cats come back, tonight.

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Florida will be visitng the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place tonight in Ottawa. This is the second of four meetings between the Eastern Conference (and future "Conference 3") rivals. This will be the second time they have met in Ottawa, with two meetings in Florida coming up later in the season. Florida is 10-7-1 away from the Bank Atlantic Center this season, while the Senators are 9-7-1 at home. Florida will be playing in the first game of a two game road trip, finishing up a back-to-back tomorrow night in Boston. They just finished a four game homestand, having gone 2-1-1. The Senators are on the tail end of a four game homestand. They've gone 2-1-0 thus far, losing to the Boston Bruins 5-2 last Wednesday, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 on Friday night, and beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Tuesday night. They will go on the road to face the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night.

The last time the two teams met was October 27 in Ottawa. The Panthers lost, 4-3 on a Nick Foligno goal with four seconds remaining. Jason Garrison scored his third, Stephen Weiss his fourth, and Kris Versteeg his fifth of the season. Jacob Markstrom took the loss, allowing four goals on 38 Ottawa shots. The Panthers left the game at 5-4-0, the Senators were 5-5-0.

Panthers @ Senators 10/27/11 (via NHLVideo)

In Florida's last game, the Panthers didn't catch many breaks, being called for seven minor penalties and having a penalty shot by Stephen Weiss die on the goal line with 25 seconds remaining, losing 2-1 to the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. Brian Campbell scored his third goal of the season on the power play with assists by Kris Versteeg and Jason Garrison. Jose Theodore stopped 20 of 22 Coyotes shots in the loss for Florida.

Coyotes @ Panthers 12/20/11 (via NHLVideo)

The Senators are coming off a 4-1 drubbing of the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. Erik Condra scored two, and Erik Karlsson and Zach Smith added one goal apiece in the victory. Craig Anderson stopped 22 of 23 shots for the win.

Sabres @ Senators 12/20/11 (via NHLVideo)

Season Series: 0-1-0
All-Time Series: 26-37-6
Game Time: 7:30 EST


Florida Panthers: 18-10-6, 42 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, 10th NHL, on pace for 101 points.

Ottawa Senators, 16-14-4, 36 points, third Northeast Division, eighth Eastern Conference, 17th NHL, on pace for 87 points.


Florida Panthers Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Sean Bergenheim other-excused 12/21/2011
Marco Sturm leg 12/21/2011
Mikael Samuelsson other-excused 12/21/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Marcel Goc concussion 11/17/2011
Scottie Upshall other-excused 11/11/2011
Jack Skille shoulder 12/17/2011

Ottawa Senators Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jesse Winchester concussion 12/21/2011
Milan Michalek concussion 12/21/2011


With a probable appearance by backup Scott Clemmensen (3-0-1) tomorrow in Boston, Jose Theodore (13-7-4) may get the start in goal tonight. For the Senators, Craig Anderson (14-11-2) is the likely starter.

Forwards: Due to injury, half of Florida's forwards are unable to perform in tonight's matchup. The Panther's have the equivalent of two full AHL lines in the starting lineup.

1.  Weiss - Fleischmann- Versteeg

2. Kopecky- Matthias - Dadonov

3. Repik - Santorelli - Bradley

4. Barch - Kennedy - Thomas


1. Campbell - Garrison

2. Jovanovski - Gudbranson

3. Kulikov - Weaver

Common Thread:

Senators defenseman Filip Kuba played in 18 games for the Panthers over two seasons from 1998-2000. He scored one goal and six assists with a minus-one rating and two penalty minutes.

Senators goalie Craig Anderson played in 53 games over three seasons for the Panthers, going 24-14-7 with a .928 save percentage and a 2.52 GAA. Anderson is fourth on Florida's all-time list with five shutouts in goal.

The Senator's other goalie, Alex Auld, also logged time with Florida, playing 27 games in 2006-07. He went 7-13-5 with an .888 save percentage and a 3.34 GAA.

Team Milestones:

Ed Jovanovski's next goal will be his 32nd, which will move him into a tie for 32nd with Richard Zednik. His next assist will give him 60 with the Panthers, tying him with Dave Lowry, in 28th.

Mike Santorelli's next goal will be number 25 as a Panther, moving him into a tie with Mike Van Ryn in 44th place all-time. 

Shawn Matthias' next goal will give him 21, moving him into a tie for 47th with Brett McLean.

Dmitry Kulikov will play in his 174th game tonight, tying him with Branislav Mezei in 45th all-time. His next assist will give him 51 for his career, moving him past Niklas Hagman into 38th place.  One more point for Kulikov will give him 63, moving him past Dave Gagner into 47th place.

Stephen Weiss is second all-time with 230 assists, one less than Olli Jokinen.

Team Leaders:


Kris Versteeg - 16

Tomas Fleischmann - 12

Stephen Weiss -11

Jason Garrison - 10


Brian Campbell -23

Stephen Weiss -21

Kris Versteeg - 19

Tomas Fleischmann - 18


Kris Versteeg - 35

Stephen Weiss -32

Tomas Fleischmann - 30

Brian Campbell - 26


Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg - plus-18

Tomas Fleischmann - plus-16

Jason Garrison - plus-10

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.