The Ottawa Senators' hopes of building on their surprising success from last season likely hinge on the scoring depth that develops beyond their first line.
While it's only two games into the season, Kyle Turris appears ready to be a key player in those plans.
Turris tries to build on his two-goal effort and help the Senators beat the Florida Panthers for the second straight game Thursday night in Sunrise.
The 23-year-old center was acquired from Phoenix last season and instantly clicked in Ottawa, totaling 12 goals and 29 points in 49 games to help the Senators (2-0-0) reach the playoffs. They pushed the top-seeded New York Rangers to seven games before being eliminated in the first round.
Turris, who scored in overtime in Game 4 of that series, has tallied in both of Ottawa's wins this season and posted his fifth career two-goal game in Monday's 4-0 home victory over Florida. He appears to have found a niche with Ottawa's top six forwards among veterans Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek as well as Guillaume Latendresse and rookie Jakob Silfverberg, who netted his first NHL goal Monday.
"I feel pretty good," said Turris, who played in Finland during the lockout after spending the summer training in Ottawa. "I feel like I have a lot of energy and good jump and just want to keep it going."
Craig Anderson likely will start again after notching his 20th career shutout Monday with 31 saves for the Senators, who seek their first 3-0-0 start since winning their first five games in 2007-08. Anderson, who has stopped 58 of 59 shots in Ottawa's two wins, is 7-0-0 with a 1.56 goals-against average against the Panthers over the past two years.
"I'm making the saves I need to and the team is not giving up the opportunities to require me to do anything spectacular," Anderson said following practice Tuesday.
Florida's offense again was not spectacular at its next stop in Canada, falling 4-1 Tuesday night at Montreal. Since getting four goals in the first 17:27 of their season-opening 5-1 victory over Carolina, the Panthers (1-2-0) have scored just twice, and they showed little jump in their third game in four nights.
Tomas Kopecky's power-play goal 4:33 into the second period ended a scoring drought of 120 minutes, 58 seconds. Four of the team's six goals have come on the power play, but the Panthers also yielded three goals in 10 penalty kills in their back-to-back road defeats.
"We've got some new guys, some new faces and we haven't had a lot of time to practice so we have to learn on the fly," center Stephen Weiss told the league's official website. "It's not the end of the world, we lost two in a row and we just have to regroup and stay positive."
Jose Theodore, who made 33 saves Monday, may again face the Senators considering Scott Clemmensen has lost his last four starts against them while allowing at least four goals in each. Clemmensen stopped 29 shots in his season debut Tuesday.
Ottawa has won 10 of the last 11 between the teams, with Florida's lone win a 4-2 home victory March 4.