Florida Panthers (13-17-5) at Ottawa Senators (14-15-6)
|Date & Time||Thursday December 19, 2013, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Ottawa Senators -157 / Florida Panthers +143 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Panthers look for their fifth win in a row as they continue their Eastern Canada swing at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.
The suddenly surging Florida Panthers will look to extend their season high winning streak to five games as they invade the Canadian capital looking to hand the Sens another home loss. Florida is a team that many expect to finish near the bottom of the standings and to challenge for the top pick in the NHL entry draft but with the way they’re playing at the moment they look as though they have their sights set on the postseason. Florida has won 6 of 10 and are just three points back of the struggling Senators in the Atlantic division and are four back of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Tim Thomas is likely to get the call in goal for the Panthers and his familiarity with the Sens from his days in Boston should help the Cats much like it did in Toronto on Tuesday.
The Senators have been one of the more frustrating teams to watch in the NHL this season as they have some bright, young talent and some veterans who have been staples with the franchise for years but they can’t seem to find any consistency in their game. Ottawa to me is a team that will likely miss out on the postseason due to the lack of offensive depth but they have surprised many in the past couple of seasons so it might be too early to project where they will end up. Robin Lehner has been the favourite for Paul Maclean in goal as Craig Anderson seems to be having issues regaining his form from the past couple seasons but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the former Panthers goalie get the call here against his old club. Either way I don’t like this spot for Florida as I think they’re coming to the end of their winning skid and while they gained a victory against the Leafs on Tuesday I think that was more contextual as the Leafs were dreadful. Taking Ottawa here to put up a big effort at home.