Senators keep rolling at home

Childhood friends Kyle Turris and Patrick Wiercioch opted to leave British Columbia and call Ottawa home last summer, hoping their time working out together would translate into success with the Senators when the lockout ended.

Kyle Turris of the Ottawa Senators scores on Jose Theodore of the Florida Panthers during second period of NHL action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, January 21, 2013. (Photo by Jean Levac/OTTAWA CITIZEN)

Childhood friends Kyle Turris and Patrick Wiercioch opted to leave British Columbia and call Ottawa home last summer, hoping their time working out together would translate into success with the Senators when the lockout ended.
So far, so good.
Perhaps it’s only appropriate that they played pivotal roles in the Senators dominating 4-0 victory in front over the Florida Panthers in front of 19,952 fans at Monday’s home opener.
The Senators controlled play from the outset Monday, extending their mastery of the Panthers on home ice, knocking off Florida for the sixth consecutive time at Scotiabank Place.
It’s early, but the Senators have looked sharp in jumping out to a 2-0 start in the abbreviated 48-game season. They’ll take plenty of confidence with them when they fly to Florida to meet the Panthers in a rematch Thursday.
Turris and Wiercioch, both playing in their first Senators home opener, showed great composure.
Turris, looking at home as a second-line centre behind Jason Spezza, opened the scoring on a power play in the first period, finishing off a pretty feed from Wiercioch. Wiercioch made a nifty move to free himself at the blueline, then slid the puck to Turris, who one-timed a shot past Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore.
In the second period, Turris finished off a give-and-go with Guillaume Latendresse, driving to the net and burying a shot past Theodore. Turris already has three goals. Wiercioch, making the jump from Binghamton of the American Hockey League due to injuries to Jared Cowen and Mike Lundin, has two assists in the two games.
When the Panthers finally picked up their pace in the third period, trying to paw their way back into the game, Craig Anderson was sharp. Anderson stopped 15 shots in the final period to register his 20th career shutout. He now has a career record of 8-0-1 against Florida, where he played from 2006-2009.
Jim O’Brien and Jakob Silfverberg – with his first career goal — finished off the scoring in the final three minutes.
Anderson didn’t have to do much at all in the first half of the game. The Senators outshot the Panthers 18-4 in the first period. During one stretch extending from the first period to the second, the Panthers went more than 19 minutes without a shot.
“Our guys did a great job of allowing me to see the puck and just doing the little things that count,” said Anderson.
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said Monday’s game was an improvement over the season opening 4-1 win over Winnipeg.
“Much better,” he said. “We were more cautious in Winnipeg, we kind of waited for something to happen. Today, we kind of used the energy of the crowd and got the forechecking going.”

CHEERS

Kyle Turris, Senators: Turris finished off a pair of pretty passes – from Patrick Wiercioch on a first period power play and from Guillaume Latendresse in the second period – to provide all the scoring in the opening two periods. Turris, who also scored in the season opener, looks comfortable as the club’s second line centre.

JEERS

Alex Kovalev, Jonathan Huberdeau, Peter Mueller, Panthers: After combining for seven points in a season opening 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, they were largely invisible Monday. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen broke up the line, juggling his forwards in an attempt to find something that might click. No such luck.

WHY THEY WON/LOST

The Senators took control of the game early and never let the Panthers get comfortable, limiting the Panthers to only five shots in the first 30 minutes. When Florida pushed harder in the third period, Anderson made big stops and the defence maintained its composure until Jim O’Brien and Jakob Silfverberg put the game out of reach.

EARLY SHOOTING GALLERY

The Senators outshot the Panthers 18-4 in the first period, with 13 players getting at least one shot on goal. Factor in the Senators’ four missed shots and the eight shots blocked by the Panthers and Ottawa directed 30 shots at Florida goaltender Jose Theodore.

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