Senators at Panthers
The Ottawa Senators have won the first two games of the season for the first time since 2007-08 and hope to continue their success as they head to the Sunshine State for a pair of games. The Senators look to win for the sixth time in seven games in Sunrise when they take on the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Ottawa, which plays at Tampa Bay on Friday, has won 10 of its last 11 overall against the Panthers - including a 4-0 triumph on Monday. Kyle Turris scored two of his team-leading three goals in that contest as the Senators have outscored their two opponents 8-1.
The Panthers are struggling with injuries, especially up front, and recorded only one goal in their last two games on the road after opening with a 5-1 home victory over Carolina. Florida only went three games or more without gaining at least a point once last season.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Rogers Sportsnet (Ottawa), FSN (Florida)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (2-0): The Senators are hoping Turris, acquired from Phoenix last season, can become the second-line center they have needed for a while. Defenseman Erik Karlsson has picked up where he left off last season when he won the Norris Trophy, registering a goal and two assists. Goaltender Craig Anderson has been outstanding over the first two games, allowing one goal on 59 shots. The Senators sent goalie Robin Lehner to Binghamton of the American Hockey League, leaving Ben Bishop as Anderson’s backup. With Mike Lundin and Jared Cowen injured, Patrick Wiercioch has stepped up on defense with two assists.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (1-2): Alex Kovalev, who will turn 40 next month, and 19-year old Jonathan Huberdeau have the only two even-strength goals for the Panthers thus far. Both had a goal and two assists in the opener before being limited to a total of four shots over the last two contests. Florida is without injured forwards Kris Versteeg, Marcel Goc and Sean Bergenheim, who combined for 51 goals last season. Highly-regarded forward Drew Shore made his debut in the 4-1 loss at Montreal on Tuesday. Defenseman Brian Campbell has two of the four power-play goals for the Panthers. Jose Theodore is likely to be back in net against Ottawa.
1. D Marc Methot is plus-4 with an assist and nine hits in his first two games for Ottawa.
2. Florida’s top-line C Stephen Weiss has one assist and is a minus-4 over three contests.
3. Ottawa is 2-for-6 with the man advantage and has successfully killed 8-of-9 power plays.
Senators 4, Panthers 3.