Kyle Turris scored a goal added two assists and goaltender Andrew Hammond stopped 21 shots to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers. The loss kept the Cats one point behind the idle Boston Bruins in the playoff chase and snapped a modest two-game winning streak.
Seconds after having a goal disallowed by a quick whistle, the Panthers opened the scoring (again) at the 7:38 mark of the first period. Aleksander Barkov got the goal after Brian Campbell fed Jonathan Huberdeau in front and he slid the puck over to the 19-year-old center, who bagged his career-high ninth goal.
The Senators tied the game a few minutes later when Mark Stone found Turris wide-open off to the side of Cats' cage. Milan Michalek picked up the secondary helper on Turris' fourteenth goal and 200th career point.
Ottawa took the lead at 8:40 of the second stanza right after their power play expired. Bobby Ryan deflected Turris' shot from the point past Luongo for his fifteenth of the season.
Erik Karlsson put the game away at 8:03 of the final frame. The dangerous defenseman snapped the puck by Luongo after taking a pass in stride from Michalek. Turris completed his three-point with the secondary assist.
After Hammond denied Tomas Kopecky's shorthanded bid, Curtis Lazar completed the scoring with 7:51 remaining. Jean-Gabriel Pageau sent Lazar in alone on Luongo, who got a piece of the puck, but not enough to keep it out of the net as Lazar crashed into him. The play went to review and the goal was confirmed, making the score 4-1, Senators.
The Panthers get right back at it this evening with a game in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, who also played on Saturday, beating the Blues in St. Louis. Look for Al Montoya to get the start in goal.
Odds & Sods
- Star blueliner Erik Karlsson has 2 goals and 8 assists in his last six games for Ottawa, who are slowly inching their way back into playoff contention.
- Speaking of hot Senators, Milan Michalek has 8 points (4G/4A) in his last six outings.
- This was the seventh time this season the Cats entered a game winning two-in-a-row. Only once have they managed to come up with a victory to build a three-game winning streak. If the club fails to reach the postseason, that stat will be one of the main reasons why.
- Roberto Luongo had a busy night, stopping 35 of the 39 shots he faced.
- As he does most nights, Nick Bjugstad led the Panthers with four shots on goal. The big pivot also went 8-of-16 in the face-off circle and was credited with two hits.
- After beating Montreal and Florida in back-to-back starts, surrendering just three goals in the process, 27-year-old Andrew Hammond's "Hamburglar" nickname is looking quite fitting.
- Check out Ottawa's Silver Seven for the other side of this tilt.