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5 Takeaways: Panthers Get 4th-Straight Win in Homestand Sweep

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

11/11/18 Post Game Interviews

11/11/18 Post Game Interviews

Interviews with Bob Boughner, Aleksander Barkov, James Reimer, Bogdan Kiselevich and Juho Lammikko

  • 01:39 •

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers are on fire.

The red-hot Panthers erupted for five goals during the second period of their 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night at BB&T Center, sweeping a three-game homestand while also extending their winning streak to a season-long four games.

After falling behind 1-0 during the first period, Aleksander Barkov scored twice, while Jonathan Huberdeau, Troy Brouwer and Frank Vatrano also lit the lamp in the second period for Florida, which now holds the longest active winning streak in the Eastern Conference.

At 6-5-3, the Panthers are also now over .500 for the first time this season.

"We've just learned how to win games," Barkov said of Florida's turnaround. "Of course, everybody's going to make mistakes, and we just need to live with that. If you make a mistake you have four other guys on the ice who can make up for it. We have been really good as a team. We've been really good together and goalies have been unbelievable. So, here we are."

With a perfect homestand behind them, the Panthers will now embark on a six-game road trip.

"We found our stride a little bit," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. "Now the challenge is to take that on the road." 

Video: OTT@FLA: Vatrano beats McKenna glove side

1. REIMER REIGNS SUPREME

Although the offense took center stage on Sunday night, Reimer was also outstanding.

Making his first start since Nov. 1, the 30-year-old backup stopped a season-high 33 shots on 34 attempts to pick up his third win of the season and second in four games. The only goal he surrendered came off Ryan Dzingel's stick on the power play with 1:25 left in the first period.

At even strength, Reimer turned away all 30 shots that came his way.

"I was happy for Reims," Boughner said. "We relied on him heavy at the beginning [of the season] with Lu [starting goaltender Roberto Luongo] hurt, and our team wasn't as good as they are now in front of him. It's been probably a bit of a battle and a struggle. He came in tonight and he was great early, especially when we needed him."

Video: OTT@FLA: Reimer makes nice play to stop Dzingel

Over his last four starts, Reimer has stopped 108 of 117 shots for a .923 save percentage.

"I felt good," Reimer said. "I feel like there's other games where I've played well and done some good things and just haven't got the results or the bounces, you name it. But, yeah, obviously it's fun to have a night like this… any time you get on a roll it's fun. It's the wife's birthday today. She wanted a win, so I figured it's best if I went out there and got it."

2. BARKY'S GOT BITE

O captain! My captain!

After scoring the game-winning goal last night against New York, Barkov picked up right where he left off against Ottawa, registering his first multi-goal game of the season with a pair of slick scores that ultimately helped fuel Florida's offensive outburst in the second period.

Having already tied the game at 1 just 3:05 into the middle frame, Barkov padded the lead later in the period with his second goal, unleashing a nifty move in the neutral zone to slip past a pair of Sens defenders before beating goaltender Mike McKenna to put Florida up 3-1 at 14:57.

Video: OTT@FLA: Barkov pots second to pad lead

"It feels good, of course," Barkov said of his big night. "Great plays by my linemates and the defense to set me up. Of course it feels good, but two points for our team means a lot more."

Barkov, 23, has now registered 13 points (5-8-13) in 14 games this season.

"We can be this type of team," Barkov said. "We can be a tough team to play against at home and on the road. We can win on the road and at home, and that's what we're doing now. We're really confident."

3. STILL STREAKING

Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov each extended their career-best point streaks on Sunday.

Picking up the assists on Barkov's first goal, Hoffman stretched his streak to 12, while Dadonov pushed his 11. This current stretch marks the first time in franchise history that two players have been riding concurrent point streaks in the double digits. If either forward can reach 13 games, they'll move into a tie with Hall of Famer Pavel Bure for the franchise's all-time record streak.

And the way that top line has been looking, there's a good chance one of them will hit that mark. 

Video: OTT@FLA: Hoffman, Dadonov help set up Barkov for goal

"Barky's line led the way," Boughner said. "They got the first one, and you could see every line just follow and start gaining some momentum."

In his first game against his former team, Hoffman registered two assists to up his point total to 14 this season. Additionally, the 28-year-old is tied for the team lead in goals (7) and power-play goals (3), while also ranking first in shots (49) and third in power-play points (tied-5).

Dadonov, meanwhile, leads the Panthers with 16 points (7-9-16). "It seems like finally, after 14 games, we've found some balance and some chemistry on some lines," Boughner said. "We were looking for that early."

4. THE HUBERDEAU SHOW

Although he's not on a record-setting point streak, Huberdeau has been lighting it up on offense.

The 25-year-old winger potted his fourth goal of the season on Sunday night, beating McKenna with a shot through traffic to put the Panthers ahead 2-1 at 6:01 of the second period. Finishing the night with a goal and an assist, he now has 12 points (3-9-12) over his last 10 games.

Video: OTT@FLA: Huberdeau beats McKenna with great shot

"He's shooting the puck more," Boughner said of Huberdeau. "He's got a lot more intensity to his game and a lot more urgency. We all know how skilled he is, but when he plays with that kind of determination I think it makes him an even better player."

Huberdeau's goal also highlighted another strong night for Florida's power play. After going 1-for-3 against the Sens, the power play is now 9-for-31 (29 percent) over the last seven games.

5. FUN ON THE FOURTH

The Panthers also benefited from another big night from their fourth line on Sunday, as Colton Sceviour and Juho Lammikko set up Brouwer for a big goal that made it 4-1 with 3:57 left in the second period. The goal was Brouwer's third of the season and second in as many nights.

Video: OTT@FLA: Brouwer flips shot by McKenna

Overall, the fourth line combined for three points (1-2-3), five hits and two blocked shots.

"We try to bring energy and play down there and play responsibly in the defensive zone," Lammikko said of his line. "It's nice to get goals… it's really easy to play with those two guys. I try to learn from them every day."

With an assist on Brouwer's goal, Lammikko picked up his first NHL point. After the game, his teammates celebrated the 22-year-old rookie's achievement by awarding him with a rugby ball, which is given to the team-appointed player of the game after each victory this season.

"That was super," Boughner said. "I know the guys gave him the ball after the game, and that was cool for him. Lammy has played great, but he just hadn't found that first one until tonight. It was great to see."

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