Matt Duchene and Magnus Paajarvi scored two goals each as the Ottawa Senators snapped the Florida Panthers’ franchise-record eight-game home winning streak with a 5-3 victory on Monday night at the BB&T Center.
Florida’s Aleksander Barkov nearly gave the Panthers their first lead of the game when he got a breakaway, shorthanded attempt with 5:51 left in the third period. But Barkov failed to fool Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, a Broward County resident and a former Panther.
After Barkov came up empty, Duchene and Alexandre Burrows scored for Ottawa to snap a 3-3 tie.
Despite the loss, the Panthers are still firmly in playoff contention due to a 15-4-1 stretch since Jan. 30.
Florida’s goals were scored by Evgenii Dadonov, who celebrated his 29th birthday with his 16th goal in his past 26 games; rookie defenseman Mike Matheson, who netted his 10th of the season; and Jonathan Huberdeau, who has a career-best 23 goals.
Anderson made 32 saves against his former team. He improved to 20-20-6 this season. In his career against the Panthers, he is 15-7-2.
Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo (20 saves) took the loss. The Panthers got second-line winger Denis Malgin back from a knee injury, which cost him seven games.
Ottawa led 2-0 after the first period. Duchene scored the first goal, taking a cross-ice pass from Mike Hoffman. Duchene took a second to settle a puck that was on edge and then whistled a high shot to the near side, past Luongo just 57 seconds into the game.
Ottawa struck again with 15:16 expired in the first as Paajarvi deflected in a shot from the point by Fredrik Claesson.
The Senators had a 12-8 first-period shot advantage on the Panthers, who had a scoring opportunity by Aaron Ekblad ring off the post. The Panthers also lost a great chance when Jonathan Huberdeau, in alone on Anderson, could not handle a pass from Malgin.
Florida got on the board with 12:36 elapsed in the second period. Nick Bjugstad’s pass freed up Dadonov along the left wing. Dadonov finished the play with a high shot past Anderson’s glove.
The Panthers tied the score 2-2 with just 2:32 left in the third period. Vincent Trocheck made a great move along the right boards, controlling the puck and then firing a cross-ice pass to Matheson, who beat Anderson to his glove side.
It took Ottawa just 42 seconds in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Thomas Chabot’s shot from the point didn’t seem like much, but it produced a long rebound straight to Paajarvi.
Florida tied the score with 4:23 expired in the third as a Vincent Trocheck pass set up Huberdeau on the door step.
Ottawa took a 4-3 lead on Duchene’s second goal of the game, this one with 3:00 left in the third. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored 75 seconds later to end Florida’s streak.
— Field Level Media