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GameDay Caterwaul: Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators

Cats look to snap ugly three-game losing streak

NHL: Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers (33-32-12 78P) vs Senators (27-43-6 60P)

  • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: Canadian Tire Centre - Ottawa, ON
  • ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, RDS2, TSN5
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 640 WMEN (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #GoSensGo,#FLAvsOTT, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Silver Seven Sens
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 4 of 4 (2-1-0)
  • LAST MEETING: OTT 3, FLA 2 (Recap) - 3/3/2019
  • NEXT MEETING: 2019-20
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Luongo (15-16-4 .897/3.19 1SO) vs Anderson (16-25-4 .904/3.46 2SO)
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Ottawa

Scouting Report (Courtesy of Field Level Media/AP)

Spring is in full force, and the landscape is sprouting new colors in warmer climates around the country, particularly in Florida.

Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers have spent the last four nights wilting over a three-game stretch against clubs bound for the NHL’s postseason.

The Panthers (33-32-12) continue their four-game road trip through Canada and the Northeast when they stop in Ottawa to face the Senators on Thursday.

On Tuesday, for the third time in four nights, Florida was pasted -- 7-3 at home by the Boston Bruins on Saturday, 7-5 in Ontario against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday and, finally, 6-1 in Quebec by the Montreal Canadiens.

The Panthers never led in any of the three, were outscored 20-9 and were officially eliminated from the playoffs after the Montreal debacle.

Sam Montembeault rode it out against the Bruins, stopping 32 of 38 shots. The 22-year-old started in Toronto two nights later, but John Tavares and the Maple Leafs ran Montembeault just 4:21 into the game, with Roberto Luongo played the remainder.

Against Montreal -- Luongo’s scheduled start -- James Reimer got the nod in net for the first time since Feb. 26, allowed three goals in the first 14:28 and was replaced by Montembeault.

It’s been a tough spell for Florida, which won four straight in an nine-day span just three weeks ago.

Second-line center Vincent Trocheck called out his teammates in Montreal, claiming the team strayed away from the its defensive system. Worse still, the Pittsburgh native said the squad gave up.

”We kind of just quit. I mean, there’s not really much -- it’s embarrassing. It’s extremely embarrassing,” said Trocheck, who fractured his right ankle in Florida’s last visit to Ottawa on Nov. 19 and missed 27 games.

”Every single guy in here should be embarrassed these last three games.”

The Senators (27-43-6) will likely have a familiar face in the net in goaltender Craig Anderson.

A member of the Panthers from 2006-09, Anderson was 24-14-7 with a save percentage of .924 or better all three seasons and five shutouts during some of Florida’s leaner years.

Anderson, 37, still remains close to South Florida.

He resides with his family in Parkland, Fla., and has been active in the community after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 last year.

Anderson was brilliant in Ottawa’s 4-0 win over the hapless Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. The Illinois native made 35 saves and recorded the 42nd shutout of his career as Buffalo kept plummeting, losing for the 13th straight time (0-11-2) on the road.

Anderson’s shutout was his second this season and gave him 28 with Ottawa -- just two behind Patrick Lalime, a member of the Senators from 1999-2004.

Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot said Anderson deserved a good showing.

”We’ve never (made) it easy for him and he’s always standing there and trying to do his best,” Chabot said afterward. “Last game he won his first game in a while, and tonight getting a shutout, it’s what he deserves. He’s played so well all year.”

The win was Anderson’s second straight after dropping 14 consecutive decisions (0-13-1) from Dec. 21 to March 21.

Thursday in the Atlantic (Standings/Panthers Playoff Chances):

  • DETROIT (28-38-10 66P) at BUFFALO (31-36-9 71P) 7 p.m.
  • MONTREAL (41-28-8 90P) at Columbus (42-30-4 88P) 7 p.m.

Idle: TBL (122P), BOS (103P), TOR (97P)

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