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Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers - Game 65 Preview

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Florida: 30-22-12 (72PTS)
Ottawa: 34-24-8 (76PTS)
Season Series: 0-2-1
Game Time: 6:00 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, SportsNet
Radio: 560 WQAM

The Florida Panthers let two points slip away once again Saturday, this time at the hands of Nashville. The Washington Capitals - 5-0 losers to New Jersey on Friday - are three points behind the Cats in the Southeast Division; they play the Flyers tonight. It's not a "must win" for the Panthers yet, but they would do well to win their first game against the Senators (7-2-1, 3 shutouts in last ten) this season to ensure a continued divisional lead for another couple of days.

Ottawa has won nine straight over Florida since 2009-10, with icon Daniel Alfredsson bagging the Cats for 57 points (26G) in 54 career games; he has 8 goals and 10 assists in 20 appearances at Miami Arena & BankAtlantic Center.

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

News and Notes

Last meeting

The Senators beat up on the Panthers in Sunrise in mid-February, winning 6-2. Ottawa has outscored Florida 14-8 in three games.

Last game

The Panthers, missing injured leading scorer Kris Versteeg, couldn't solve Pekka Rinne and lost to the visiting Nashville Predators 3-1 yesterday.

Lineup

D Ed Jovanovski should return tonight, having yesterday off for "maintenance." However, Tyson Strachan could replace another player tonight, possibly Keaton Ellerby.

Injuries

  • F Scottie Upshall (core), 2/1, 6 to 8 weeks
  • D Dmitry Kulikov (knee), 1/21, 6 to 8 weeks
  • F Matt Bradley (concussion), 2/19, indefinitely

Possible Scratches

  • F Kris Versteeg (lower body)
  • F John Madden (healthy)
  • F Marco Sturm (healthy)
  • D Strachan/Ellerby (healthy)

Starting goaltenders:

Former Panthers goaltender Craig Anderson is out with an injury (finger). Jose Theodore is expected to face off against recent call-up Robin Lehner, who is 3-1 (1 SO) in four games with the Sens in 2011-12. He's never played Florida.

Lines

Forwards
  1. Bergenheim-Weiss-Samuelsson
  2. Fleischmann-Goc-Wolski
  3. Santorelli-Matthias-Kopecky
  4. Skille-Smithson-Barch
Defense
  1. Campbell-Garrison
  2. Gudbranson-Jovanovski
  3. Weaver-Ellerby/Strachan