Thursday December 22nd, 2011

Thursday December 22nd, 2011

Thursday December 22nd, 2011

Game Day: Ottawa Senators vs. Florida Panthers


Thursday December 22nd, 2011

7:30 pm

SNET-OTT, Team 1200

8th East (16-14-4) VS. 3rd East (18-10-6)

The Senators are entering a set of back-to-back games, facing the Florida Panthers at home tonight followed by the Carolina Hurricanes on the road tomorrow. The Senators currently hold a very vulnerable eighth place spot with three teams behind them by only one point. Ottawa would obviously like to win both these games and go home for Christmas with a four game win streak, however to just be able to hold onto a playoff spot would be great for the team going in the break.

The first of the two games takes place tonight at Scotiabank Place versus the Southeast leading Florida Panthers. The first meeting between these two teams was a 4-3 victory for the Sens, one of their many dramatic games of the season. The cardiac kids showed their work in the final minutes of the game, taking the lead with just over 2 minutes left. After Florida got the tying goal with 27 seconds left, everybody was ready for overtime but the Sens weren’t done. Foligno scored the game winner with just four seconds left to secure the win and deny Florida the extra point. The Sens have now won 7 straight against the Florida Panthers and goaltender Craig Anderson, who will be getting the start, is 5-0-1 lifetime versus the Panthers with a .931 sv% and 2.31 GAA.

The Senators enter this game after a dominate performance over the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday. Erik Condra led the team with two goals while Kyle Turris had an assist in his Senators debut, as the Sens went on to defeat the Sabres 4-1. The Secondary scoring of the Sens was key in the vicotry and is especially important during the absence of Milan Michalek.

Florida on the other hand is coming off a 2-1 loss. The team is missing many of their offensive weapons due to injury and it shows as they only managed one goal against Phoenix on Tuesday.


The Senators were powered Tuesday with the return of both Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba whose absences were really starting to hurt the Sens. The team’s young defense core is relieved to have the veteran’s back. Milan Michalek, the team’s leader in goals, remains sidelined with a concussion, though has been practising and is making good progress. It is unlikely he plays before Christmas break but it is hopeful that he returns before the new year. Jesse Winchester has been diagnosed with a concussion of his own after a hit received in the game versus Buffalo, and will be out as well.

Update: Peter Regin who just returned a few games ago has re-injured the same shoulder that kept him sidelined for nearly a month. He will not be playing tonight and is out  indefinitely. The Dane needs to make a decision on how to rehab it this time, surgery is a possibility.

The Panthers’ Samuelsson was helped off the ice during Florida’s last game and he along with Sturm did not make the flight to Ottawa. This comes after already losing Bergenheim a game earlier to a strained groin while forwards Upshall, Goc and Skille are all on injured reserve.


OTT – Erik Karlsson: With a goal and an assist Tuesday, Karlsson now has 5 points in his last two games. He leads all defenseman with 31 points in 34 games, and is second in the league in assists with 28.

FLA – Brian Campbell: With the absence of many Florida forwards they will need offensive support from their back end. Campbell is second in the league (trailing only Karlsson) with 26 points. They will need production from him to beat Anderson who does so well against his former team.


With injuries to Regin, Winchester and Michalek the Senators will only have 11 forwards in the line-up for tonight’s game. The team will dress seven defenseman and it is unsure still how Paul MacLean work with that. Having a D like Lee or Carkner play up would not be something new to the Sens, however double shifting a forward such as Spezza is also an option.

Finally, irrelevant to the game itself, tonight is a noteworthy one for Sens fans for one other reason. After tonight’s game the dismantling of the dreaded scoreboard will begin and by the time the Senators return to Scotiabank Place for their next game on the 27th, a brand new one will be in it’s place. I’m sure all Sens fans will be able to laugh at the silly little memories of the old scoreboard once it is officially something of the past. The new scoreboard will relieve Sens fans of the feeling of embarrassment when visiting teams and fans come into town, and look up at our clock only to see 87 minutes remaining in the third period. The scoreboard will become another small piece in the Senators’ ever-growing history.

Enjoy the game and check back here after for SenShot’s full game recap. Go Sens Go!


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