Sens have Panthers' number

Ottawa Senators' Daniel Alfredsson celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with teammate...

Ottawa Senators' Daniel Alfredsson celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with teammate Chris Neil during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Ottawa Dec. 22, 2011. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:17 PM ET

Recent history will be on their side when the Senators visit the Panthers Wednesday night.

Ottawa has won its last eight games against Florida. The only point the Panthers have managed to steal of the 16 available over that stretch was from a 4-3 overtime loss to the Senators in Ottawa Dec. 22.

Bobby Butler scored the winner in that one.

"It's not something we really concern ourselves with ... it's really (just) our next game," Florida coach Kevin Dineen said Wednesday morning. "If you look back historically, there's a lot of changeover in personnel, including our coaching staff. It makes for a very respectful opponent, but certainly we feel if we play when we play Panther hockey we can be a successful team."

Panther hockey, especially of late, is about defence. Florida has given up just three goals in its last three games.

The Senators were pretty good in that department last time out themselves, of course, as Craig Anderson made 28 saves to shut out the Tampa Lightning Tuesday.

Anderson will be back in goal 24 hours later against the Panthers, a team he once played for and a team he has had great success against.

Versus his former team, Anderson has a 6-0-1 record as well as a 2.22 goals against average and a .929 save percentage.

Coach Paul MacLean will stick with the same lineup altogether against Florida, which means the healthy scratches will be Matt Carkner and Zenon Konopka.

Dineen said whether he uses Jose Theodore or Scott Clemmensen in goal will be a game-time decision, although it's highly doubtful he doesn't know which one he'll go with by now.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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