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Panthers begin post-Dineen era in Ottawa

(SportsNetwork.com) - The struggling Florida Panthers' slow start to the season cost head coach Kevin Dineen his job. The Panthers will try to move forward with a new bench boss when they visit the Ottawa Senators for Saturday's matinee battle at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Panthers, mired in a seven-game losing streak, announced the firing of Dineen and his assistant coaches, Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay, on Friday morning. General manager Dale Tallon replaced Dineen with interim head coach Peter Horachek, who will have Brian Skrudland and John Madden serve as his assistant coaches.

The coaching shake-up came the day after a 4-1 loss at Boston on Thursday. That setback dropped Florida to 0-3-4 during its current slide and to 3-9-4 on the season.

"After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction," Tallon said in a statement Friday. "We have not met the expectations that we set forth at training camp and it is my responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure that our club performs at its maximum potential."

Dineen's tenure began with a 38-26-18 record and a Southeast Division title in 2011-12. The Panthers' first playoff appearance since 2000 ended with a double-overtime loss to New Jersey in Game 7 of the opening round. However, Florida, ravaged by injuries, plummeted to the bottom of the standings last season, finishing with a league-low 36 points and a 15-27-6 record.

Horachek, 53, inherits a team with an NHL-worst minus-25 goal differential. He was in his first season coaching the Panthers' American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. Prior to his job in San Antonio, Horachek spent nine seasons (2003-13) with the Nashville Predators, serving the last two years as associate head coach.

"Peter is a bright hockey mind who brings to our club a wealth of coaching knowledge," Tallon said.

Florida sent 24 shots at net in Thursday's game versus the Bruins, but Tuukka Rask stopped 23 of them to anchor Boston in the 4-1 win at TD Garden. Jesse Winchester scored the lone Florida goal late in the third period, while Scott Clemmensen allowed all four goals on 30 shots in the loss.

The Panthers, who will close a three-game road trip Sunday against the New York Rangers, fell to 1-5-1 as the visiting team this season.

Horachek's first game behind the Florida bench will be in a venue that's been less to kind to the Panthers in recent years. Ottawa has won six straight and 10 of its last 13 home meetings versus Florida. Although the Panthers have won two of the past four encounters in this series, Ottawa has claimed 11 of the last 13 matchups.

While the Panthers try to end a lengthy slide on Saturday, the Senators will aim for their first three-game winning streak of the season. Ottawa has recorded consecutive wins against Columbus and Montreal and is 2-0-2 so far in November after posting a disappointing 4-6-2 record in the first month of the season.

Ottawa has won both tilts during its two-game streak by 4-1 margins. After earning a road win Tuesday in Columbus, the Senators notched a home win Thursday against Montreal. Bobby Ryan had one goal and two assists to lead Ottawa past the visiting Canadiens and begin a five-game homestand on a positive note.

"We made up some valuable points. That's essentially a four-point game there and we've got a game in hand on a team that's right ahead of us, so I think the thing we'll take from tonight is that we won a divisional game but we took care of our home ice," Ryan said.

Marc Methot, Kyle Turris and Mark Borowiecki added one goal apiece and Clarke MacArthur finished with a pair of assists for the Senators, who had lost five straight before winning their last two outings.

Robin Lehner made 33 saves in the win and is line to get his third straight start on Saturday. Lehner has filled in nicely since regular starter Craig Anderson suffered a head/neck injury last Sunday against Dallas. Anderson is expected to be available for today's game in a backup capacity. Nathan Lawson had been serving as a backup to Lehner while Anderson was out of the lineup.

Ottawa is 2-3-2 as the host this season and will also welcome Philadelphia, Boston and Columbus to Canada's capital city before this homestand is over.

11/09 10:53:08 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/16 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus 4/16 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, FS-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/16 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
TV
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    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

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