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Panthers Wrap-Up: Senators 6, Panthers 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 0 1 0 2
Senators 1 3 2 0 6
FLA - S. Matthias (10), PP - S. Bergenheim(12)

OTT - J. O'Brien (1), K. Daugavins (4), B. Butler (6), SH - D. Aldredsson (20), M. Michalek (25), PP - F. Kuba (5)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Craig Anderson made 42 saves, six Ottawa players scored, and the Senators routed the Panthers 6-2 on Wednesday night for their ninth straight win against Florida.

Jim O'Brien notched his first career goal, Milan Michalek moved into a tie for the team lead with his 25th of the season, and Kaspars Daugavins, Bobby Butler, Daniel Alfredsson, and Filip Kuba also scored for the Senators.

"The got a couple goals, bang-bang, and the rain kept falling from there. Obviously it was a disappointing game in front of our home fans. This was not a good showing by us."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen
1. Early Deficit, Early Bounceback: It seems as if the early scoring woes followed the Panthers home. After allowing a goal in the first four minutes of the game in their first four road games following the break, Florida allowed an early goal to Ottawa at the BankAtlantic Center. While it didn't come in the first five minutes of the game, it did come shortly after as Jim O'Brien netted his first NHL goal off a wrap-around 5:35 into the contest. Just like in the last two games (both wins), Florida was able to bounce back however with a first-period goal. Rushing up the left side of the ice, Shawn Matthias netted his 10th of the season by firing a shot high and far side past Craig Anderson with 12:47 gone in the period.

2. Back-Breaking Second: Deadlocked at one after one, the Panthers had to feel good heading into the second period. Florida was entering a pretty successful period, having outscored their opponents 6-0 (including 3-0 against the Islanders) in their last three games, all victories. Ottawa however turned the tides on the home team by scoring three times on Scott Clemmensen on just 10 shots. Florida, on the other hand had 17 shots on Anderson but came up empty. Kaspars Daugavins got the scoring started 5:18 in as he redirected Brian Lee's shot into the back of the net. Bobby Butler then redirected Milan Michalek's pass past Clemmensen off the rush 2:06 later. The third goal of the season might have been the real back breaker. Just finishing a short 5-on-3 power play and still on a 5-on-4 power play, the Panthers allowed a shorthanded goal to Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson as he was set up on the breakaway by Daugavins. That goal chased Clemmensen from goal as head coach Kevin Dineen replaced the netminder with Jose Theodore.

3. Feistiness With The Game Out Of Hand: Ottawa made it a four-goal deficit for the Panthers early in the second as Michalek scored just 1:24 into the third period. Florida would get one closer after Sean Bergenheim netted his 12th of the season after tipping Brian Campbell's shot from the slot while on the power play 3:01 later, Florida couldn't get any closer. Defenseman Filip Kuba would score on a Senators power play of their own when he scored off the feed from Jason Spezza with 5:06 left on the clock. Anderson was strong in the net in turning aside 42 shots. Feisty throughout the game, tempers flaire with the game out of reach for the Panthers. Tyson Strachan squared off with Zack Smith squared off with 4:29 left. Forward Jack Skille took a roughing penalty off the scrum as well. The Panthers were then issued a penalty for abusive language with 3:24 left on the clock. For whatever reason, the Senators have had the Panthers as Ottawa has beaten Florida in nine straight contests (0-8-1 for Panthers) including all three times this season (0-2-1 for Panthers).
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@TylerSmith80: The worst #FlaPanthers game of the year. Looked uninspired and out of it. We better be pissed off and Come out hard against Washington!

@silent_screamin: #flapanthers Ok,so that was terrible. I guess if you're gonna lose, let go & lose BIG. Now on to Friday - Slap The Caps! I See Red! Rrrroww

@MissAAlvarez: Not sure who Ottawa was playing tonight but it wasn't Dale Tallon's team. #FlaPanthers #Sens

@Enrico056: Can't believe the #flapanthers are throwing up an old fashioned stinker against the #Sens. #disappointing #cats #weseered

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Andrea Howell: Well.. Thank GOD that one wasn't on TV :(

Kyle Pehlke: One bad game. We will play better Friday. Should be a great game to go to!

Jeff Main: Tough loss, on to the next game Panthers. We're still in 1st in the SE, still 3rd in the conference! WIN OR LOSE, I WILL NEVER STRAY AWAY FROM MY PANTHERS!!

Matthew Jagielski: Tough loss tonight guys. Keep your heads up. I will see all you fans at the game on Friday! Lets get this win against the caps and increase that lead. Believe red.

3. The Panthers allowed three goals in the second period. It was the third time in the last six games that the Panthers have given up at least three goals to their opponents in a single period.

6. Home has been good to the Panthers heading into Wednesday's game against Ottawa. In fact, Florida's most goals given up was just four which was accomplished on five different occasions. The Senators easily surpassed that with six tallies on the night.

9. The Senators have been a pain in the Panthers side the last two-plus years as they have now won nine straight games against them. Florida has managed just one point (an overtime loss on December 22nd) over those nine games (0-8-1).

14. Picking up the lone assist on Shawn Matthias' first period tying goal, Mike Weaver registered his 14th assist of the season. That total gives him a new career high in points surpassing the 13 points (2-11-13) accomplished last season. It took him just 56 games for the defensive defenseman to surpass the total (accomplished in 82 games last season).

44. Florida scored just twice against Ottawa and Craig Anderson and that was despite throwing up a season-high 44 shots on the night. That total was one more than the previous high which came in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on November 3rd.

Craig Anderson
Didn't have a lot of difficult saves but was often busy in seeing double digit shots in each of the three periods.

44 Shots, 42 Saves, .955 SV%
Florida gets a day off before returning to action in a key Southeast Division matchup Friday night when they host the Washington Capitals. With a four point swing up in the air (Florida could be up as much as six points or as little as two), the game should be highly contested. Both teams have won two games in the season series with both of their victories coming on home ice. The Panthers won their games on December 5th (5-4) and February 1st (4-2). The Capitals have lost their last three games (0-2-1) since shutting out the Panthers at the Verizon Center 4-0 on February 7th. Offensively, Washington is led by Alex Ovechkin (44 points in 53 games) and Dennis Wideman (38 points in 56 games). Tomas Vokoun has seen most of the action between the pipes (22-13-2 with a .920 save percentage) while Michal Neuvirth has also seen time (6-9-3 with a .894 save percentage).

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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