OTTAWA, Ontario (SportsDirect Inc.) — The Florida Panthers gained at least a point in both games since the surprising coaching change and look to extend that streak to three when they visit the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
The Panthers lost in a shootout at Chicago in coach Tom Rowe’s debut Tuesday after he replaced Gerard Gallant and Aleksander Barkov’s overtime goal beat Detroit 2-1 on Thursday.
“It’s never good when you have a coaching change,” Barkov told reporters after snapping his 22-game goal drought. “We all loved (Gallant); he’s a great coach. But that’s how teams go and you have to move on, concentrate on the next game. We have a great group of guys here and great coaches. We just need to stick together moving forward.”
Florida goes for its fifth win in six games against Ottawa, which coughed up a two-goal lead in a 3-2 overtime loss against Philadelphia on Thursday at home.
The Senators allowed eight goals the last two games after surrendering five during a four-game winning streak and could be without No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson for the second straight game.
Anderson (12-5-1, 2.20 goals-against average, .930 save percentage) missed Thursday’s game to be with his wife Nicholle, who is undergoing cancer treatments.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, TVAS, CITY (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (12-10-2): Barkov picked up his production with four points in four games and now it’s fellow center Nick Bjugstad’s turn to get on track after going pointless in his first five contests since returning from a broken hand. Florida scored only 12 regulation goals in the last seven games but is 4-2-1 during that stretch with solid performances from netminders Roberto Luongo and James Reimer in net. Luongo (2.04, .930), who won at Ottawa 4-1 on Nov. 19, allowed one goal in three straight and four of the last five.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (14-8-2): Mike Hoffman is warming up with four goals in the last two games and six points over the past three while fellow forward Mark Stone boasts four tallies and four assists in a strong six-game stretch. Forward Bobby Ryan (hand) was placed on injured reserve while Marc Methot (lower-body) is questionable and fellow defenseman Fredrik Claesson (lower-body) went down Thursday, prompting Ottawa to recall forward Buddy Robinson and blue liner Andreas Englund from the AHL. Defenseman Erik Karlsson leads the team with 15 assists and 19 points.
1. Ottawa C Kyle Turris tops the team with 10 goals and owns three assists in his last two games.
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