Posted October 26, 2011 on
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It's been nearly a year since the Ottawa Senators enjoyed a four-game winning streak.
Facing the Florida Panthers could help them recapture those positive feelings again.
Surging Ottawa looks to match its longest win streak from last season and make it seven consecutive victories over the Panthers on Thursday night at Scotiabank Place.
It came as no surprise when the young Senators won only one of their first six games, but the team has been much better lately. Ottawa (4-5-0) ended a three-game skid with a 4-1 win over Winnipeg last Thursday, rallied with two goals in the final minute to beat Columbus 4-3 on Saturday and stopped a seven-game skid at Carolina with a 3-2 shootout victory Tuesday.
Jason Spezza continued his hot start with his fifth goal and delivered the shootout winner to give the Senators their first road win in four tries.
"I think we deserved to win tonight," Spezza said. "We played hard, we frustrated them, and right until the end they didn't have much. We're playing more comfortable and clogging things up."
Spezza has goals in four straight games and eight points during that span.
Craig Anderson has been in net for all three wins during the streak, posting a 1.95 goals-against average. Anderson, who played for the Panthers from 2006-09, is 4-0-1 with a 1.98 GAA against his former team.
Another key to Ottawa's improved play is the power play, which has converted four of the last seven opportunities.
The Senators played Tuesday without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who was scratched with an injured right hip. He is likely to return for this game.
Ottawa, which won a season-best four straight Nov. 2-9, has outscored Florida 24-10 during six straight wins in the series. The Senators are 17-5-2 in this matchup since the start of the 2005-06 season.
The Panthers (5-3-0) have exceeded expectations through the first two weeks and are coming off back-to-back victories. After beating the New York Islanders 4-2 on Saturday, Florida opened a three-game trip Monday with a 2-1 victory over Montreal behind Jacob Markstrom's 40 saves.
"The whole team was playing unbelievably well and stuck with it for 60 minutes, and this is the result," said Markstrom, appearing in his fourth NHL game.
Markstrom has been better than veteran Jose Theodore, but rookie coach Kevin Dineen was quick to diffuse any goaltending controversy.
"Theo is our starter. He's a great player and will get back in there soon," Dineen said. "But Jacob Markstrom not only earned the start but earned the victory. He's doing a great job. I don't get too mixed up in the big-picture decisions, just the little day-to-day things."
Theodore is 2-5-2 with a 3.20 GAA in his last nine starts against the Senators.
With 10 points in their first eight games, the Panthers are off to their best start since opening 5-1-1 with one tie in 1999-2000, the season of their last playoff appearance.
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Tis’ the season -- not quite Christmas, but Halloween. Like every year, kids aren’t the only ones dressing up -- NHL players are as well. Senators teammates David Rundblad, Erik Karlsson and Mika Zibanejad dressed up as members of the band KISS for a Halloween party as discovered by The 6th Sens. Rundblad also blogged about the party and he made sure to mention that the Senators...
Nick Foligno scored with 2.5 seconds left in the third period and the Ottawa Senators extended their winning streak to four games with a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night Foligno put away a rebound of Daniel Alfredsson's slap shot for the winner after Florida's Kris Versteeg scored with 47.1 seconds left to tie it at 3.
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Forget what the pundits have said about this hockey team. They're an incredibly exciting team to watch when they put forth the effort, and for the second time during this now four-game winning streak, they finished off the opposition with mere seconds left on the clock.
Flashback to last Saturday night, when Milan Michalek's...
Pulled from David Rundblad's blog (hat tip to @e_doty and @ldots13 for the link): Here are David Rundblad, Erik Karlsson and Mika Zibanejad rocking the Kiss costumes. It's a solid effort by the trio. Even though Karlsson half-asses the Gene Simmons tongue protrusion and Rundblad erred in the colouring of Ace Frehley's 'Spaceman' makeup. (It should be silver damnit...
Jason Spezza beat Cam Ward between the pads on the second round of the shootout, giving the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
Stephane Da Costa would rather that it didn't happen this way.
When the Ottawa Senators face off against the Florida Panthers tonight at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., Sportsnet Sens, Team 1200), the 22-year-old Frenchman will find himself centri...
Jason Spezza scored in the second round of the shootout, lifting the Ottawa Senators over the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2.
OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators’ year-long commitment to community outreach programs throughout the National Capital Region continues. The following is a look at the club’s community schedule from Friday, Oct. 28, to Thursday, Nov. 3.
Panthers rookie defenseman Erik Gudbranson received the word in practice today that he will be staying with Florida.
After a dreadful start to the season, the Ottawa Senators will aim for a third straight victory tonight when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC Center.
The Panthers must officially decide whether to keep the rookie Erik Gudbranson after the teams ninth game Thursday night against Ottawa.
The Panthers rallied to tie it with 47.1 seconds left, and then gave up the winning tally with only 2.5 seconds remaining.
By Bill Whitehead
“Playoffs?…You kidding me? Playoffs!” Those, of course, are the immortal words of an astounded Jim Mora during a legendary NFL press conference in 2001, but with a strong start to the season, many in Pantherland are thinking about the postseason. And the actions of Florida general manager Dale Tallon, like last Saturday afternoon when he made a major alteration...
The Ottawa Senators had to deliver a second knockout blow just before the bell to finish off the Florida Panthers.