NHL

Senators hope to rebound from bad loss against Panthers

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The Sports Network
4/6/2010 11:08:49 AM
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(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators had a six-game winning streak stopped their last time out, but will try to rebound when they visit the Florida Panthers tonight at BankAtlantic Center.

The Senators began a three-game road trip Saturday and were handed a 4-1 setback by the New York Islanders. It was Ottawa's first defeat since losing on March 20 in Dallas.

Ottawa is currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings and is already ensured a spot in the postseason. The Sens are five points ahead of sixth- seeded Montreal and six points in back of Pittsburgh for the fourth seed.

John Tavares tallied a goal and an assist to help the Isles end Ottawa's winning streak on Saturday. Matt Cullen scored the lone goal for Ottawa and Brian Elliot made 29 saves in defeat.

"It's one of those games where hopefully we can put behind us and learn from it," Senators center Jason Spezza said. "They (Islanders) are giving lots of teams fits right now."

The Senators also had a three-game road winning streak halted in Saturday's loss on Long Island. Ottawa is just 17-21-1 as the guest this year and will play its final road game Thursday in Tampa. The Sens will close the regular season Saturday against visiting Buffalo.

Florida, meanwhile, has been officially eliminated from the playoffs, marking the ninth straight season without a postseason berth for the Panthers. The final nail in the coffin was Saturday's 4-1 loss to the visiting New York Rangers.

Keith Ballard provided the sole offense for the Panthers in Saturday's loss. Scott Clemmensen allowed three goals on 26 shots in the loss.

"We knew where we stood. We've put ourselves in this position," said Ballard said of his club's postseason elimination.

The Panthers are 15-14-9 as the host and are playing the middle test of a three-game homestand that will end Thursday against New Jersey. Florida will close its season with a home-and-home series against Tampa. The Panthers visit the Lightning on Saturday before hosting the Bolts the following day.

Ottawa has taken two of three from the Panthers this year and has won 10 of 15 overall in the series. The Sens also have five wins in their last seven road games against the Panthers.


Senators celebrate (Photo: Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
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