09/13/2008 3:54 PM -
The Ottawa Senators opened the 2008 rookie tournament with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Netminder Brian Elliott backstopped the Senators with 27 saves and rookie winger Mick Lawrence buried two goals while adding one assist in the victory.
Following an early Florida marker, Shawn Weller struck for the Senators first goal at 4:42 of the first period.    Weller gathered a rebound from a Peter Regin shot at the right side of the crease and tapped it past netminder Tyler Plante. Lawrence collected his first point of the night with an assist. 
21-year-old Ilya Zubov provided Ottawa’s second marker, a power-play goal, of the game. The winger fired a slap shot from the right point through traffic and past Plante on the blocker side. Defenseman Tomas Kudelka set up Zubov from the right corner. 
Ottawa outshot Florida 10-9 in the opening period. 
The Senators controlled play in the second stanza, holding the Panthers scoreless while opening a two-goal lead. Lawrence buried his first of two markers at 5:50 of the middle period. Lawrence and Peter Regin advanced on a two-on-one rush. Regin fed the open Lawrence on his left side, and he beat Plante stick side. Shawn Weller notched his second assist of the day on the goal.
Elliott stopped all ten Florida shots in the second period, as the Panthers outshot the Senators 10-7.
Penalties cost Ottawa in the opening minutes of the third period. The Panthers took advantage of a 4-on-3 power play when Shawn Matthias took a pass from David Brine and snapped it into an open net.
Ottawa fired right back with a power-play goal from Lawrence; his second goal and third point of the day. Lawrence crashed the net with Ilya Zubov and tapped the puck into the right corner of the net to give the Senators a two-goal lead. 
The goal sealed the victory for Ottawa, who play Toronto at 6 p.m. on Sunday in the second of three tournament games for the club.
Zubov finished the game with two points (1+1=2), as did Shawn Weller (0+2) and Jesse Winchester (0+2).

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