The Ottawa Senators pulled a shocker on the Tampa Bay Lightning last night, as they erased a 4-2 deficit and stole one in Tampa for a final score of 6-4. Heading south to Florida, there weren’t too many people who believed in the Senators to get the job done. Their defence had issues yet again, but the offence, which has been playing extremely well for them, came through again to upset the Lightning.
The problem is the Senators can’t depend on 5 or 6 nights every night to win games. That’s unrealistic to expect, so the defence will have to show up if they want to point the ship in the correct direction. Nevertheless, it was a good win for the Senators last night, but they have to quickly turn around and play on Sunday.
Craig Anderson will get the day off on Sunday. He is getting worked in the crease trying to fend off a barrage of shots from opponents. Anderson hasn’t had a chance to catch his breath this season, but he’ll get a much needed breather against the Panthers.
Allowing goals has been a major problem for the Sens this season, clear enough, but it hasn’t entirely been an Anderson issue. Defensively he’s been left out on an island between the pipes, without much help from his blueline. Instead of Anderson, Ottawa will go with seldom used Mike McKenna in net. The Panthers are coming off a win yesterday as well, with a 4-2 win over the Islanders. Roberto Luongo is expected to get the day off, too. Florida will opt for James Reimer in net for this one. Get our free Senators vs. Panthers pick below.
Ottawa Senators vs. Florida Panthers Pick
Luongo has been sharp in net since coming back from his injury. He’s helped the Panthers come out of the basement and back to relevancy with his play. Nothing was really going right for the Panthers with Reimer between the pipes. Reimer hasn’t played since November 1st, a 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. He’s lost three of his last four outings in net. Overall, Reimer has been good for only 1 win this season. He goes into Sunday with a marginal record of 1-4-1.
With a 3.36 GAA and 0.885 save percentage, the Panthers must need a healthy Luongo this season. Luongo isn’t young either, so he is going to need to get some help from Reimer in the reserve role here and there. He will have to fend off a talented, young group of Senators today.
The Sens have moved to 2nd in the NHL with 3.59 goals per game. If they could get their defence going in the right direction. While they are 2nd in scoring, the Sens are 31st in the league with 4.18 goals allowed per game. They remind me of the Dallas Stars from a few years ago, where it was all offence and no defence.
Mike McKenna hasn’t been able to provide any relief as the backup netminder. In two appearances this season, McKenna has gotten drilled for a 7.11 GAA and 0.838 save percentage. Anderson, who 37 years old, is going to be overworked by the end of the season. The same could be said for Luongo, as both of the backups don’t provide much confidence in net. It gives us an opportunity to make a solid play here, though. I’d take a look at the OVER between the Sens and Panthers in this spot.