Preview
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

The Lowdown: Panthers vs Senators

The Cats and Senators battle in Sunrise at BB&T Center.

Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 10:00 AM ET / Preview
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
X
Share with your Friends


The Lowdown: Panthers vs Senators

THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.

Ottawa Senators vs. Florida Panthers


Senators Panthers
Record 29-29-13 26-38-8
Points 71 60
Place 6th in Atlantic 7th in Atlantic

Back in the Sunshine State, the Florida Panthers look to enjoy some home cookin’ when they welcome in the Ottawa Senators. The Sens have been dealing with rapidly plunging approval ratings as the team is currently in the midst of a 2-6-2 tailspin. Ottawa, however, is coming off a 4-3 shootout victory over Tampa Bay last night and the team will be wrapping up their 12th back-to-back of the season tonight in Sunrise. So far, the Senators are 2-7-2 is the second half of back-to-backs this season.

Here is tonight’s lowdown:

Season Series

Tonight will be the fourth and final matchup between these two Atlantic Division rivals. The Sens took the first two games of the series before the Panthers got one on the road in Ottawa, a 4-2 win in mid-December. The Cats fell behind 2-1 in that game but staged a frantic comeback capped off by this game winning rocket from Tom Gilbert:

How about that primal scream from the booth? Goldie was definitely feelin’ it on this one.

Ottawa Players to Watch

#65 Erik Karlsson: Already five seasons into his career, the Sens’ 23-year-old defenseman has matured into a legitimate NHL superstar thanks to his impressive box of offensive tools. With 68 points (20-48-68) in 71 games, Karlsson leads his team as well as all NHL defensemen in scoring. The speedy Swede had three points (1-2-3) last night in Tampa Bay, including this toothsome finish in the first period:

Yeah, he’s pretty good…

#19 Jason Spezza: Taking over captaincy duties from the departed Daniel Alfredsson, the Senators center has continued his steady play. With 59 (19-40-59) points in 66 games, the 30-year-old is second to only Karlsson in team scoring. Spezza is coming off a strong game in Tampa as he recorded a goal in regulation and the game-winning score in the shootout.

Opponents Scope

Speaking of Spezza…

The Senators began the year as a darling NHL playoff dark horse but things have not gone as planned north of the border. Captain Jason Spezza expressed some of his frustrations to the media regarding what the Sens have left on the table.

“We’ve had better teams, for sure, that have had higher expectations,” Spezza said. “But I think we expected to make another step as a group this year and we haven’t, we’ve taken a step backward.”

Failing to meet lofty expectations is one way to draw the ire of your head coach and Ottawa general Paul MacLean expressed his frustrations with the losing in the form of a no-pucks practice on Sunday that was instead heavy on the sprints.

“We’ve lost five in a row or whatever it is, so I have no problems with how (Sunday’s) practice was,” Spezza said. “If you don’t win hockey games, that’s how you get treated.”

March Sadness

Let’s pour one out for Panthers’ broadcaster, and Syracuse alum, Steve Goldstein, who had to endure an early end to the party as his beloved basketball team got bounced from the big dance by the underdogs at Dayton.

Luckily his broadcast team was there to have his back:

Spartacat

This is Ottawa’s mascot:

He is a cat….which has nothing to do with ‘Senators’ as a nickname, and quite frankly he is stepping on the toes of the NHL’s finest Cat-based franchise.

Long live Stanley C. Panther!!!

Enjoy the game. Let’s go Panthers!

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.