Sens halt seven-game losing skid

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:42 AM ET

SUNRISE, FLA. -- Hallelujah!

The Senators finally ended their frustrating seven-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers last night at the BankAtlantic Center.

Through the slump, the Senators have been looking for secondary scoring. Mike Fisher broke a 14-game slump by scoring a goal, while Randy Robitaille had two goals. Nick Foligno and Jason Spezza had a goal and assist each.

"We felt we were close the last couple of games," said Robitaille. "We did a good job and we came away with two points. It didn't matter who got the goals as long as we got them. Once the buzzer sounded, that was definitely a nice feeling that's for sure."

Goaltender Ray Emery, making his second straight start after a strong performance in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday, wasn't tested a lot by the Panthers, but made his biggest stop on a penalty shot by Kamil Kreps at 4:35 of the third. Kreps was awarded the shot after being taken down by Chris Phillips on a breakaway.

It wasn't perfect or pretty, but the Senators' first victory since Nov. 19 against the Montreal Canadiens ended the club's longest losing streak in 12 years. The Senators continue this three-game road trip tomorrow against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Arena. Emery is expected to get the start in goal.

"We got good offence from Robitaille, Fisher and Spezza. The offence was spread out. That was Foligno's best game," said Senators coach John Paddock. "When it got to 5-4, it was just a little bit too close."

Really, the Panthers might have been just what the doctor ordered for Ottawa. It was the Senators' sixth straight win against former coach Jacques Martin's Panthers. Ottawa has outscored Florida 29-10 in those victories. In fact, the Senators haven't lost to Florida since April 13, 2006.

'PLAYED A GOOD GAME'

"We played a good game. I don't think we should have given up four because I think we controlled the game," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "That's two big points for us. It's a little bit of relief and should give us some confidence."

The Senators' power play left a lot to be desired and that's an area that has to improve. The Senators had a two-man advantage for 1:28 and came away emptyhanded. Foligno also passed up on a chance to shoot on a 2-on-1 with Alfredsson late in the second.

The Senators did achieve one goal they set before the game. For the first time since a Nov. 24 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Senators actually opened the scoring.

After a horrible giveaway by Florida defenceman Jassen Cullimore, Robitaille picked up the loose puck and fired it past Tomas Vokoun on the glove side at 6:48 of the first.

Only 22 seconds later, Fisher scored his first goal since Nov. 3, beating Vokoun on the glove side to give the Senators a 2-0 lead.

Martin was so incensed he yanked Vokoun and replaced him with Craig Anderson.

Really, it should have been smooth sailing from there, but the Panthers bounced back.


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