Series (Game 2 of 4)

Ottawa leads 3-1

Game 1: Wednesday, October 28th
Game 2: Saturday, January 9th
Game 3: Saturday, March 27th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 6th

Panthers 3

(18-20-7, 43 pts)

Senators 0

(22-19-4, 48 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 9, 2010

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
FLA 1 2 03
OTT 0 0 00

R. Olesz (Panthers - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

N. Horton (Panthers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

T. Vokoun (Panthers - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: 1.000

Panthers-Senators Preview


Injuries to Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza have left the Ottawa Senators struggling offensively. Losing Milan Michalek for an extended period certainly wouldn't help matters.

Losers of two straight, the Senators will have to get by without what was once their top line as they host the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Coach Cory Clouston told the Senators' official Web site that Michalek will miss this contest due to an upper-body injury he suffered in a 5-2 loss to Washington on Thursday night. The severity of his injury is uncertain.

"When you lose a guy like Milan, it's not just taking him out of the lineup," Clouston said. "He plays power play and he does a real good job on the penalty kill, so now you're really forced to put guys in different roles and use them differently."

Michalek has a team-high 16 goals, but hadn't scored in nine straight games. His former linemates, Alfredsson (shoulder) and Spezza (knee), are sidelined with long-term injuries.

Ottawa has had a tough time adjusting, scoring on two of its last 42 power plays.

"It was our first line not too long ago," Clouston said. "We need other guys to step up. We need to simplify our game even more and just keep working hard and being positive."

Senators center Mike Fisher, who has a team-high 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists), has been held off the scoresheet in four of five contests. He had a goal in Ottawa's 4-3 victory at Florida (17-20-7) on Oct. 28, the teams' first meeting this season.

That was the last of four straight defeats for the Panthers, who went on to win eight of their next 11 (8-2-1). Florida, though, is slumping again, losing five of its last six entering the finale of a three-game trip.

The Panthers lost 2-0 to Montreal on Thursday night, two days after a 3-2 defeat against Toronto.

"You don't get points in this league for playing good games," Florida center Stephen Weiss said. "We've got to find a way to put the pucks in the net and get results and get points."

Scoring has been perhaps the Panthers' biggest concern. Florida has found the back of the net two times or fewer in four of six games, and has a combined three goals over its last three road contests.

Stephen Weiss hasn't scored in six straight games, but still leads the Panthers with 18 goals. Weiss has posted a goal in three straight games versus the Senators.

Nathan Horton had a three-game point streak end against the Canadiens. The right wing has a team-high 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists).

Florida desperately needs to give goaltender Tomas Vokoun some support. He stopped 37-of-38 shots against Montreal.

Panthers coach Peter DeBoer thought Vokoun had little trouble seeing the puck in that contest, so he had his team focus on getting screens in front of the net in practice Friday.

"We have to get more bodies in front of the net and make it a little harder for the opposing goalie," DeBoer said.