Senators continue domination of Panthers with 6-2 win
Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 10:14 PMSUNRISE, Fla. —
The Ottawa Senators
had another strong performance on the back end of their father-son trip. Then again, they were playing the Florida Panthers
, Bobby Butler
and Daniel Alfredsson
scored second-period goals to break a 1-1 tie as the Senators continued their mastery over the Panthers with a 6-2 victory at the BankAtlantic Center on Wednesday night.
In the first game on the father-son trip, the Senators shut out Tampa Bay 4-0, giving them a 10-2 scoring advantage with the dads watching from the stands.
"They're not going to want to leave," joked center Jason Spezza
, who had three assists. "We're going to have to talk to the team about keeping them around maybe one more game. They're pretty happy and we're proud they could watch us win games."
Ottawa has won nine in a row over Florida over the past three seasons. The Senators recorded a pair of 4-3 victories over Florida at Scotiabank Place earlier this season.
The run is tied for the second-longest active winning streak by one team over another in the NHL. Only Boston, with 10 consecutive victories over Edmonton, has a longer streak.
"I don't know if they feel that we have an advantage on them or not," Alfredsson said. "In today's NHL, we've just got to go out there and work hard for 60 minutes no matter who you play. You can't think, 'This is going to go our way.' "You're going to have to work for it."
Jim O'Brien, Milan Michalek
and Filip Kuba
also scored for Ottawa. Spezza's three assists gave him 13 points in his last five games. The six goals tied Ottawa's season high, which they have now accomplished four times.
The Senators have scored 17 goals while going 3-0-1 in their last four games, which followed a season-long seven-game losing streak.
"That one stretch where we lost seven in a row was pretty hard," Daugavins said. "Guys' dads were coming into town and I guess that was a good change for everyone to change direction and go the right way again. I think we're a really good team. It just happens even to good teams where you go on losing streaks. As long as you stay in it mentally, you always stop that and you turn it back the right way."
made 42 saves as he improved to 7-0-1 in nine career appearances against his former team. Anderson played for Florida from 2006-09.
and Sean Bergenheim
scored for the Panthers, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. It was Bergenheim's eighth goal in his last 12 games.
But it wasn't nearly enough to give Florida its first four-game winning streak since March 2008.
More important, the Panthers missed out on a chance to increase its four-point lead over Washington in the Southeast Division. The teams, who each have 26 games remaining, meet Friday night at the BankAtlantic Center.
"Tonight was not a very good showing by us," Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. "We had a decent first period but in the second, bang-bang, a couple of goals against and the rain kept falling from there. A very disappointing game in front of our home fans."
got the start in net ahead of Jose Theodore
, but was pulled after Alfredsson made it 4-1 at 14:06 of the second period. Clemmensen, who gave up only one goal in his previous two starts, allowed four goals on 16 shots.
Daugavins broke a 1-1 tie at 5:18 of the second from the side of the net when he tipped in Brian Lee
's hard pass from the top of the right circle.
Butler scored on a similar play at 7:24, except it was from the other side. Michalek slipped a pass between the legs of defenseman Erik Gudbranson
that Butler redirected from the far post.
"You just play one shot at a time," Clemmensen said. "They're a very talented offensive team and they shoot for sticks. All their point shots, they're not shooting it for the net, they're shooting it for tips and deflections and they're trying the backdoor plays. It's tough to absorb that and trying to make a push ourselves. It wasn't going our way, it was going their way."
Alfredsson's third goal against Florida this season came on the second of two consecutive power plays for the Panthers. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Daugavins fed Alfredsson up ice for a clear breakaway. Alfredsson deked to his backhand and beat Clemmensen with a high shot.
It was Alfredsson's 20th goal of the season, the 13th time he has reached that plateau.
"I knew if I could stay healthy I could get to 20," Alfredsson said. "It feels good. Hopefully I can keep pushing and, who knows, maybe flirt with 30. We'll see how it goes. But it's been a lot of fun so far and it's nice to see the way we played the last four games. We're creating a lot more offense and we're starting the games a lot better."
O'Brien opened the scoring at 5:35 of the first with his first goal in his 13th NHL game. He grabbed a rebound near the side of the Florida net and took advantage of a minor collision between Clemmensen and rookie defenseman Colby Robak
to score on a wraparound on the other side.
It was the fifth time in six games the Panthers had given up the first goal in the first period.
"It's exciting to see a guy score his (first) goal and you could tell he was really excited," Spezza said. "OB has played real well for us since he's come up, so it's nice to see him get rewarded. He's done a lot of good things on the checking side of the puck and penalty kill, but everybody likes to score goals every once in a while and you could tell he was pretty happy and it's nice to see a guy get his first."
Matthias tied the game 1-1 at 11:47 on an individual effort. He skated across the Ottawa blue line at full speed and just as he made a move to the outside against defenseman Sergei Gonchar
fired a wrist shot that beat Anderson to the glove side just under the crossbar.
There were three goals in the third period, but the outcome was decided in the second.
The Panthers will get another shot at ending their losing streak against Ottawa when the teams meet again March 4 at the BankAtlantic Center.
"Let's hope we don't make it 10," Matthias said. "They're a team we have to play hard against. They're a team racing up the standings. We've got to be ready for those games. There's no excuse for that effort. There's no excuse for how we played tonight. That's not Panthers hockey. We've got to get back to work tomorrow and correct these things, make changes and play better on Friday."