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Turris leads Senators past Panthers, 3-2

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)

OTTAWA (AP) Peter Horachek has a lot of work to do with the Florida Panthers.

Kyle Turris had a goal and an assist to help the Ottawa Senators beat Florida 3-2 on Saturday, spoiling Horachek's debut as the Panthers' coach.

Horachek was promoted from Florida's American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio on Friday after the club fired Kevin Dineen and assistants Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay.

"What you hopefully are going to create is an attitude about work," Horachek said. "When there are changes, people hesitate.

"You know, they're not playing the way they need to, just reacting instead of thinking, and so you add a little bit each time and hopefully you're going to continue that and get them to a place where the work is fun and the work is solid and consistent."

Original Florida captain Brian Skrudland - who had been serving as the team's director of player development - and former Panthers center John Madden replaced Murphy and Ramsay.

The Panthers have lost eight in a row to fall to 3-10-4.

Mika Zibanejad and Clarke McArthur also scored for Ottawa, and Robin Lehner made 25 saves. The Senators have won three straight to improve to 7-6-4.

Nick Bjugstad and Marcel Goc scored for Florida. Tim Thomas made 28 saves in his first game back after missing six straight because of a lower-body injury.

Trailing 3-1, the Panthers had a two-man advantage for 1:17 in the third period. They controlled the puck for nearly the entire time, but had only three shots.

"We're starting to feel pretty good about ourselves," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "I thought the way we played was pretty solid and Robin Lehner gave us another good game. We also kept the shots under 30, which certainly gives our goalies a chance to play well.

"I thought our penalty killing, especially the 5-on-3 in the third period with Derek Grant, Marc Methot and Jared Cowen was outstanding and a big reason why we won the game."

Less than 3 minutes after the second penalty ended, Goc beat Lehner with a wrist shot to pull the Panthers to within a goal.

The Senators scored the only goal of the second period and that came on the front end of a 5-on-3 power play. After passing the puck around the Panthers' end, McArthur was finally able to but a one-timer past Thomas after a pass from defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Two quick goals by the Senators put the Panthers on their heels early.

The first goal came off the stick of Turris, but Bobby Ryan made it possible. After breaking in a lone only to be stopped by Thomas, Ryan followed the puck to the corner and sent a pass to Turris at the edge of the faceoff circle and Turris promptly beat Thomas at 1:45.

Just 19 seconds later, following a Florida turnover, Zibanejad scored from behind the net as he banked a shot off Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson and in.

"The game started out a little scrambly and I felt a little out of sorts at the beginning and kind of wasn't awake for that first goal," Thomas said. "I wasn't expecting a shot to come from that angle and I had to get back into game type of thinking rather than practice."

Exactly one minute after that the Panthers got on the board on a great effort from Bjugstad and a lapse in judgment from Karlsson, who seemed to turn away from the forward who was allowed to cut to the front of the net and jam the puck past Lehner.

Notes: Ryan extended his point streak to six games. ... Dineen's coaching record with the Panthers was 56-62-28, including 3-9-4 this season.

Updated November 9, 2013

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