Florida earned their 11th win in a row on Thursday night, on the road in Ottawa's house over the Senators by a 3-2 count in regulation time.
Reilly Smith opened the scoring at the 12:09 mark of the first, surprising former Panther/current Senators netminder Craig (Mr.) Anderson with a top-shelf wrister from about 16-feet off to Anderson's left. Eight seconds later, Vincent Trocheck doubled the lead after a quick steal and Anderson's second surprise of the minute. The two markers were scored on Florida's first two shots of the game.
Ottawa's Max McCormick, the Second Star of the game, returned the favor in similar fashion five minutes into the middle frame, turning a steal into an unassisted goal against an all-but-defenseless Roberto Luongo. It was McCormick's first career NHL goal.
The third period would see Florida again push the lead out to two goals on yet another Jagr-to-Huberdeau-to-Barkov special at the 7:30 mark. Florida's vaunted top line has now combined for a total of 85 points this season, and 34 during the win streak. Milan Michalek gave the Sens hope at 9:54 on a tip-in past Luongo to make the score 3-2, but any momentum they earned was curtailed by penalties down the stretch.
Although Ottawa outshot Florida 32-to-16, Florida's sky-high shooting percentage of 18.7 was plenty of firepower in front of Luongo's 30 save night. Lou has allowed 12 goals in his last nine games, all wins. The nine consecutive victories is a personal career best for Roberto, and four of the 12 goals were allowed against the Vancouver Canucks in a 5-4 win. Huberdeau had two assists on the night, and was named the First Star of the game, while Lou took home Third Star honors.
The Panthers go for a cool dozen on Sunday night at 9:30 in Edmonton; The Copper & Blue has Oilers news heading into that one. Ottawa's club is handled by Silver Seven, so check them out for the latest on the opposition's take on this evening's match.