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5 Takeaways: Panthers Home Win Streak Snapped in Loss to Sens

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

3/12/18 Post Game Interviews

3/12/18 Post Game Interviews

Interviews with Bob Boughner, Derek MacKenzie and Keith Yandle

  • 01:18 •

SUNRISE, Fla. - All good things come to an end.

On Monday night at BB&T Center the Florida Panthers saw their franchise-record eight-game home winning streak snapped in a 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

After erasing an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the second period, Florida surrendered a pair of goals late in the third to earn its first loss on home ice since Feb. 9. Matt Duchene scored the game-winning goal for Ottawa, beating Roberto Luong with a top-shelf shot to give the Senators a 4-3 lead with three minutes left in regulation.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau added an insurance goal 1:15 later to make it 5-3.

"I think we could have had more urgency in the first period," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. "They got some bounces. We had some chances, hit a post in the first period, I think it was [Aaron Ekblad]. Going down 2-0, obviously we needed to improve a lot on the little things. We didn't box out well. We didn't break out well.

"We came out in the second period and we had a great second period and got ourselves back into game. It's a hockey game. [Aleksander Barkov] has a chance to end it with four minutes to go, shorthanded. I thought we had enough chances to win the game."

Looking at the numbers, the Panthers certainly controlled possession throughout the game, holding a 65-38 shot-attempt advantage over Ottawa at 5-on-5. They also lead the Senators in scoring chances (26-17) and high-danger chances (10-9), according to naturalstattrick.com.

In the end, the Cats' advantage in the run of play wasn't enough to keep their streak alive.

"We can get a lot of shots, but if they're not in the right spots and there's not guys in front, sometimes they're not very effective," Panthers captain Derek MacKenzie said.

With two games remaining on their five-game homestand and a crucial matchup against Boston coming up on Thursday, MacKenzie said the team needs to put this loss in their rearview as soon as possible.

"We've done a lot of good things," MacKenzie said. "The best way kind of wipe the slate clean after a loss like this is to come up with a big win against one of the best teams in the league."

With 15 games remaining in their regular season, the Panthers trail New Jersey by just three points for the second wild card spot into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand.

Here are five takeaways from Monday's loss in Sunrise…

1. BOUNCEBACK CATS

For the third straight game, the Panthers got off on the wrong foot. The Senators scored two goals on their first seven shots on Monday night, carrying a 2-0 lead and a 12-8 shot advantage into the first intermission. The first goal against came just 57 seconds after puck drop, as Duchene took a smooth cross-ice pass from Mike Hoffman and buried a wrist shot to give the Senators an early 1-0 lead. Later, Magnus Paajarvi added to Florida's deficit, tipping a long shot from the point past Luongo to extend Ottawa's lead to 2-0 at 15:16 in the first. The Panthers bounced back in the second, limiting the Senators to just two shots on goal - their first shot coming at 13:41 of the period - and scoring two goals of their own to make it a 2-2 game after 40 minutes. Mike Matheson completed the comeback for the Cats, scoring his 10th goal of the season off a beautiful Vincent Trocheck feed. "People know that we're playing pretty good hockey," Boughner said of Florida's recent slow starts. "I think everybody's ready for us. No matter who comes in here, whether it's a playoff team or a non-playoff team, I think everybody's trying to play us hard." 

Video: OTT@FLA: Matheson blasts home Trocheck's great dish

2. TROCHECK'S 200th

With an assist on Matheson's game-tying goal, Trocheck collected the 200th point of his NHL career. The 24-year-old center has posted 11 points (4-7-11) over his last 10 games, adding a pair of primary assist to his point total on Monday night. A threat to score at both even strength and with the man advantage, Trocheck leads the Panthers in both goals (26) and power-play goals (12). Although he didn't light the lamp against Ottawa, Trocheck did finish with three shots on goal, extending his team-lead in that category to 234 this season. At 5-on-5, Florida's second line of Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau and Frank Vatrano, who moved up from the third line after the first period, dominated possession throughout the night, with each forward helping the Panthers control at least a 63 percent share of shot attempts when they were on the ice. After recording his 200th and 201st point against the Senators, Trocheck needs just two more points to tie Jay Bouwmeester for 13th on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

3. BIRTHDAY PRESENT

Happy birthday, Evgenii Dadonov! The speedy forward celebrated his 29th birthday in style on Monday night by scoring his 22nd goal of the season. After receiving the puck along the left boards near center ice, Dadonov hit the turbo button, flying into the zone and beating Senators goaltender Craig Anderson with a top-shelf snipe. Since the all-star break, Dadonov has posted 23 points (12-11-23) in 20 games, including six multi-point performances over his last nine contests. After signing a three-year deal with the Panthers this summer, Dadonov continues to live up to, and maybe even beyond, his billing, posting 52 points in 59 games, including five game-winning goals. 

Video: OTT@FLA: Dadonov goes top shelf on his birthday

4. HUBER-GOALS

With his game-tying tally in the third period, Huberdeau has now scored a goal in each of his last three games. Heading up the left side of the ice, Trocheck sent a centering pass in front of the net to Huberdeau, who tipped the puck in with his skate to make it a 3-3 game at 4:23 of the final frame. Having already surpassed his previous career high of 20 goals, the 24-year-old winger is now up to 23 on the season, which places him third on the Panthers. With two points on Monday night, Huberdeau is now up to a career high 63 points (23-40-63), also a career high. Since the all-star break, he has notched 16 points (7-9-16) in 20 games. One of Florida's most -reliable playmakers, Huberdeau ranks first on the team in primary assists (25) and third in multi-point games (16). 

Video: OTT@FLA: Huberdeau crashes the net, pots tip in

5. HE IS IRONMAN

The NHL's active ironman, Keith Yandle suited up in his 700th consecutive game on Monday night. In the midst of his second season with the Panthers, Yandle currently holds the seventh-longest streak in league history and needs 38 more consecutive games to surpass former Panther Jay Bouwmeester for sixth place. The 31-year-old defenseman leads Florida's blueliners in point (46), assists (40) and power-play points (16), while also leading the club in total ice time (1644:35). With four more points, he will achieve his first 50-point season since 2013-14.

BONUS: SHOT CHART (COURESTY OF NATURALSTATTRICK.COM)

As you can see in the chart below, the Panthers took control of possession from the moment the puck dropped in the second period and kept that pressure up throughout the remainder of the game, finishing with a 77-42 shot advantage in all situations.

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