Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators - Game 9 Preview

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 6: Jason Garrison #52 of the Florida Panthers loses his stick as he goes after the puck with Chris Kelly #22 of the Ottawa Senators on April 6, 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Senators defeated the Panthers 5-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Florida: 5-3-0 (10PTS)
Ottawa: 4-5-0 (8PTS)
Season Series: 0-0-0
Game Time: 7:30 PM EDT
Television: Fox Sports Florida, SportsNet Ottawa
Radio: 640 WFTL

The Ottawa Senators are currently on a three game winning streak, winning in the shootout against Carolina, scoring two goals in the final minute to steal Columbus's first win, and getting their first regulation win against Winnipeg. The offense is lead by Jason Spezza, who has scored a goal in his last four games as well as eight points, and is currently tied for second in the NHL for points (12). Defensively, the Senators are bit of a mess. Goaltender Craig Anderson is tied with Steve Mason for goals against (28), facing 240 shots, the fourth most in the NHL, and saving 212 of them, the sixth most in the NHL, giving him a .883 save percentage. It doesn't help that the only defensemen that doesn't have a negative plus/minus is Chris Phillips, who's plus/minus is 0. Defensemen Erik Karlsson defense may not keep goals out of his net, but he does know how to help the offensive attack with eight assists, enough for a six-way tie with countrymen Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and Nicklas Backstrom (as well as Jason Pominville and Marc-Andre Bergeron) for first in the NHL. Two teams enter with winning streaks, only one will leave to New York to extend it. - Crooklyn Banks

More from our Ottawa cohorts at Silver Seven.
 Panthers vs Senators coverage coverage at SB Nation.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

On March 31, the bottom-dwelling Senators met the Panthers in Florida. The slumping Panthers were beaten 4-1 by the Sens, with former Cats goaltender Craig Anderson getting the win. This win moved the Senators into 14th place in the Eastern Conference and relegated the Panthers to the bottom of the Conference, where they would remain for the rest of the season.

Last game

With former Panthers coach and current Canadiens coach Jacques Martin on the hot seat and the Habs with their worst start in 70 years, the Panthers handed the Canadiens their fifth straight home loss to open the season. This is the first time the Habs have lost their first five home games, with their lone win coming in Winnipeg on October 9. The Panthers top line of Stephen Weiss, Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg came through for the Panthers again, with Versteeg setting up Fleischmann for the tying goal. Scottie Upshall would get his first goal as a Panther in the third period. That goal would hold up as the game winner. Jacob Markstrom made 40 saves in the win.

Lineup

The team told Erik Gudbranson that they will not send him back to his junior team this season; he will be staying with the Panthers. Gudbranson, who is from the Ottawa area, has over 25 family members attending the game this evening. The Panthers are still without new team member Mikael Samuelsson, who remains in Vancouver rehabbing. Center Ryan Carter was waived on Tuesday in preparation to be sent to San Antonio, but was claimed by Pete DeBoer's New Jersey Devils. Tim Kennedy, who outplayed Carter in the last few games after being called up from the Rampage last week, remains on the roster.

Injuries

Scratches

Starting goaltenders:

Rookie Jacob Markstrom will get his second straight start tonight.

Lines (from last game)

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Kopecky-Goc-Upshall
  3. Matthias-Kennedy-Bradley
  4. Sturm-Santorelli-Skille
Defense
  1. Campbell-Garrison
  2. Jovanovski-Gudbranson
  3. Kulikov-Weaver
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