SUNRISE (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Florida Panthers are enjoying the most successful months of December in franchise history.
The Panthers are surging up the Eastern Conference standings and will look to extend their winning streak to five games when they host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
The Panthers have won 10 of their past 13 games (10-3-0) and are in the midst of a favorable portion of the schedule as they play the second contest of a six-game homestand.
“It’s been a real good run,” Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. “We have one more huge game coming up here Tuesday before the (Christmas) break. … We battled back the last 20 games have been really good for our club.”
One of the losses during the Panthers’ hot stretch was a 4-2 setback to visiting Ottawa on Dec. 8.
The Senators are 2-4-0 since beating Florida and have been limited to five goals in the four setbacks, including a 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Ottawa is 3-1-1 in its last five visits to South Florida.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, RDS2, TSN5 (Ottawa), FSN Florida
ABOUT THE SENATORS (17-12-5): Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson was forced to log 36:34 of ice time after fellow defensemen Mark Borowiecki (game misconduct) and Cody Ceci (injury) exited Sunday’s loss.
The total was the most minutes in a non-overtime, regular-season game by a player since February 2008.
Ceci (upper body) and forward Bobby Ryan (hand) are questionable for Tuesday, prompting the promotion of forward Ryan Dzingel from Binghamton of the American Hockey League.
“He’s been Binghamton’s best forward and now he will get a shot at the NHL,” Senators coach Dave Cameron told the team’s website.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (18-12-4): Jaromir Jagr added another entry into the NHL record books by scoring his 732nd goal in Sunday’s shootout win over Vancouver to move past Marcel Dionne and into fourth place on the league’s career list.
“That goal was sweet and the win was even sweeter,” Jagr told Florida’s official website. “We have to make sure we can win more game before the Christmas break.”
Jagr is approaching a pair of historical records – he needs two power-play points to tie Steve Yzerman (594) for 10th place and six assists to become the sixth player in league history to reach 1,100.
- Panthers G Roberto Luongo has dropped three straight decisions to the Senators after beating them 10 straight times.
- Ottawa failed on five power-play chances Sunday and is 1-for-20 in the past five games.
- Panthers F Shawn Thornton ended a 17-game season-opening drought with his first goal and first point Sunday.
The Panthers face the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, December 22nd at 7:30 p.m. You can hear every game on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, the radio home of the Florida Panthers.
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