It’s been awhile since the Ottawa Senators were in a “must win” game. Then again, the last time Ottawa earned a point was in March. This is the perfect time for the Senators to rack up two points as they face the Florida Panthers tonight, who currently sit in last place in the Eastern Conference.
Ottawa only sits sixth position. Although it would be nice for them at the end of the season to face a SouthEast team, they have to make it there first.
Tonight’s the night that Craig Anderson makes his return to the Senators lineup. He was a backup last game, but now could be the time to finally get the start. In his last ten games against the Panthers, he has a record of 9-0-1.
Florida will look to keep their solid play alive. They currently have won 3 of their last 4, which is pretty good for a team that is sitting in last place. Canadian Jonathan Huberdeau has been solid for the Panthers this year, as well as Tomas Kopecky and Tomas Fleischman.
Ottawa still doesn’t have a player with ten goals on their roster, but that could change if Cory Conacher pots one. If Ottawa wants to win, they need to stop the speed and skill of Huberdeau. Although he hasn’t scored against Ottawa this season, Huberdeau still leads all rookies in points and can be a game changing factor on the ice.
For Florida to win, they need to score early. Ottawa is currently on a losing skid. If they get a quick lead early, it will be even harder for Ottawa to win the game.
This game is more crucial for Ottawa than Florida. Teams are breathing down the necks of Ottawa. A late slip up could have Ottawa looking at the Eastern Conference standings and see eight other teams in a playoff spot.