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Florida Panthers GameDay

GameDay No. 74: Lines, Betting Odds for Panthers at Senators

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Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 16. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Anton Lundell has not recorded a point in the past 11 games for the Florida Panthers, but tonight against the Ottawa Senators, they will be counting on him to keep their second line rolling.

Coach Paul Maurice confirmed that Lundell will center the second line tonight in Ottawa alongside Carter Verhaeghe and Matthew Tkachuk.

It has been a tough sophomore season for Lundell, but with Sam Bennett now missing his fourth consecutive game, the Panthers cannot worry about the past — they need Lundell to get things going now.

”That was the simplest move that I did not make three games ago after Sam went down,’’ said Maurice, who instead of moving Lundell to the second-line center took Eetu Luostarinen off the top line and put him there. Luostarinen is back up top.

”We liked Luostarinen so much in the middle of the ice and it had to do with our opponents. But we have not been able to generate what we have needed to. It is Anton’s turn.

“This is his second full season in the NHL and we need him to … Sam Bennett does some unusual things; he drives that line, adds speed to Verhaeghe which Tkachuk needs. We need Anton to come in and fill that role.”

The Panthers have been without Bennett since he left last week’s game against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period.

Although Florida won that game in Detroit, they have lost the past three games since.

Bennett has said to be day-to-day with the “lower body injury” he has been dealing with for the past few weeks.

The Panthers need Lundell to at least try and fill some of that void.

Anyone who underestimated what Bennett means to the Panthers are certainly seeing his worth right now.

Florida has won just three of the nine games he has missed.

With the Panthers being in the playoff fight — they are three points back of Pittsburgh but three ahead of Washington and Buffalo.

“This is the exciting time, this is the time you want to be at your best,’’ Maurice said of what is on the line in these coming weeks. “Everyone is watching in Florida and Ottawa and probably Pittsburgh and five other cities. We’re all watching each other now and you want to be ‘That Guy’ who played his best game under the most pressure.”

PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT OTTAWA SENATORS 

  • When: Monday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Canadian Tire Center, Ottawa 
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • DraftKings odds — Panthers favored: Money Line (-150); Puck line (-1.5, -155); Over/Under 7 (-115/-105)
  • Season Series (Florida leads 1-0): Panthers 5, Senators 3 (Oct. 29)
  • Last season: Florida won 3-1
  • All-time regular season series: Ottawa leads 56-43-5, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Florida at Toronto, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 15 Anton Lundell // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

94 Ryan Lomberg // 12 Eric Staal // 13 Sam Reinhart

21 Nick Cousins // 6 Colin White // 54 Givani Smith

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

18 Marc Staal // 62 Brandon Montour

28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

34 Alex Lyon

Scratched: Casey Fitzgerald

Injured: Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Sam Bennett (LBI)

PROJECTED OTTAWA SENATORS LINEUP

7 Brady Tkachuk // 18 Tim Stutzle // 28 Claude Giroux

12 Alex DeBrincat // 57 Shane Pinto // 19 Drake Batherson

61 Derick Brassard // 27 Dylan Gambrell // 21 Mathieu Joseph

36 Patrick Brown // 47 Mark Kastelic // 16 Austin Watson

85 Jake Sanderson // 2 Artem Zub

72 Thomas Chabot // 23 Travis Hamonic

26 Erik Brannstrom // 5 Nick Holden

40 Mads Sogaard

34 Dylan Ferguson

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