Florida (25-27-7) at Ottawa (19-31-9)

By MIKE LIPKA, STATS Editor Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011 Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST Wed Feb 23, 2011

Craig Anderson(notes) couldn’t have done much more to make a good first impression in his debut with the Ottawa Senators.

For an encore, he’ll likely get a chance to help end the team’s longest home winless streak in 15 years.

Anderson will probably be back in net Wednesday night for his first home appearance with the Senators as they face one of his former teams, the Florida Panthers.

Ottawa (19-31-9) has been revamping its roster following its fall to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, most recently acquiring Anderson from Colorado for Brian Elliott(notes) in a swap of goaltenders Friday.

Although Anderson struggled this season for the Avalanche, he stopped 47 shots through overtime and all three shootout attempts in Toronto on Saturday, carrying the Senators to a 1-0 win in his debut.

“The emotions are huge,” Anderson said. “I leave a team where I battled for two years … it’s tough to do that. But there’s 20 new guys in here that are great guys, that I’m ready to learn with and get to know and grow with.

“In this game, you’re always auditioning for a job. You’re only as good as your next game. … Monday I’ll come back to work and start focusing for the next one.”

That is likely to come against a Florida team Anderson spent three seasons with before signing with Colorado in 2009.

The goalie can become a free agent again this summer, but before then he figures to get an extended audition for the Senators.

“You’re going to see a lot of him,” coach Cory Clouston said. “When (general manager) Bryan (Murray) traded for him, it was an opportunity for us to get to know him, an opportunity for him to get to know us. An opportunity for him to play a lot of games here down the stretch.”

His task Wednesday may be a difficult one considering the Senators have been outscored 39-18 during an 0-7-3 stretch at Scotiabank Place. They haven’t gone so long without a win at home since compiling 15 losses and two ties from Oct. 28, 1995-Jan. 27, 1996.

“We’ve got nothing to lose out there, we’re just going out and playing,” forward Chris Neil(notes) said. “That’s how we’ve got to approach it. We’ve got a lot of young guys in the lineup now with the trades that have happened. We’re working hard, that’s all we can ask.”

While the Panthers (25-27-7) have a more realistic shot at the playoffs, they’ve also been sputtering, dropping three of four and 12 of 16 - most recently losing 5-1 to the New York Islanders on Monday.

“There are no excuses,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “They were the more desperate team. It’s frustrating, and there were 20 guys who were bad.”

Mike Santorelli(notes), tied with David Booth(notes) for the team lead with 17 goals, scored Monday after recording the tying goal and the shootout winner in a 3-2 road victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday.

The Panthers haven’t won by more than one goal since a 3-0 victory over the Rangers on Jan. 2, a stretch of 23 games.

Tomas Vokoun’s(notes) history against the Senators also doesn’t bode well. The Florida goalie has gone 3-10-0 with a 3.46 goals-against average versus Ottawa, his worst numbers against any opponent.

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Wednesday, Feb 23