Skip to main content

Panthers 5, Senators 4, OT

NHL.com @NHL

OTTAWA (AP) - Even an overtime loss could not dampen the Senators' jubilation over winning the Northeast Division title.

Daniel Alfredsson scored with 2 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 4 and send the game to OT, earning the Senators the point that clinched the division title.

The Senators ended up losing 5-4 to the Florida Panthers.

"It was a big goal and we were pretty excited," said Jason Spezza, who scored his 19th early in the third to draw Ottawa to within 3-2. "We battled hard for a great comeback. People had kind of quit on us in this game and we battled back to score and it was nice to get that. Too bad we didn't score in overtime."

Joe Nieuwendyk won the game for Florida, scoring 3:30 into the extra period.

Senators center Bryan Smolinski won a faceoff to the right of Roberto Luongo with 3.2 seconds left and Dany Heatley passed the puck back to Alfredsson, who fired a slap shot from the right point just over Luongo's glove for his 42nd of the season.

"Hopefully we had an eye-opener in the last period there to really give the guys a boost," Smolinski said. "You have to work hard in this game and every team is not going to lay down for you, especially when you're at the top."

Heatley collected his 100th point of the season on the play.

"It's nice. We've had a fun year and we've got a great team," said Heatley, who was acquired in a trade with Atlanta prior to the season. "I'm just trying to be sharp and get ready for the playoffs next week."

Ottawa remains atop the Eastern Conference with 111 points. The Senators, who finished 29-9-3 overall at home, had a season-high four-game losing streak prior to Tuesday's 4-3 overtime win over Boston.

The Senators have two road games remaining, Saturday in Toronto, and Tuesday against the New York Rangers. Second place Carolina trails the Senators by two points and has three games remaining, including two at home.

Luongo made nine of his 46 saves while Florida was two men short and Panthers captain Olli Jokinen got two points, including his 38th goal.

"He's awesome. He's been like this pretty much all season," Panthers forward Martin Gelinas said. "Overall he's been a star out there and he's been a pleasure to watch."

Florida jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Alexei Semenov, Jon Sim and Jokinen.

Mike Fisher closed the gap to 3-1 in the second period and Speeza made it a one-goal game early in the third.

Gelinas scored his 17th at 13:20 to put Florida up 4-2 but Peter Schaefer made it close once again 1:10 later with his 20th goal, his fourth short-handed effort of the season.

Notes: Jokinen, whose previous career high was 36 goals in 2002-03, has the third highest season total in Florida history. Pavel Bure broke his own team record with 59 goals in 2000-01, one more than he scored the previous season. ... Senators G Dominik Hasek hopes to return Tuesday in New York for Ottawa's final game of the regular season against the Rangers. Hasek skated in full equipment for about 10 minutes during the Senators' morning practice but did not face any shots. ... The game drew 19,173, Ottawa's 33rd sellout of the season. ... The Senators lead the NHL with 24 shorthanded goals. Edmonton set the league record with 36 shorthanded goals in 1983-84. The Oilers, who have the four highest single-season shorthanded totals in league history, had 28 in 1986-87, and 27 in both 1985-86, and 1988-89.

View More