After a sloppy start that included Austin Watson and Jonathan Huberdeau trading goals in the first period and an absolutely dreadful power play opportunity that saw Dylan Gambrell notch his first of the season on a shorthanded breakaway ninety seconds into the second, the Panthers were able to forge a 2-2 tie when Sam Reinhart swatted the rebound of Anton Lundell’s shot past Anton Forsberg with 4:27 left in the frame. Reinhart had the pretty primary on Huberdeau’s goal while Lucas Carlsson drew the secondary.
All good, right? Nope... The tie was quickly undone when Josh Norris scored his first of the night 33 seconds later and Tim Stutzle lit the lamp again with one-timer 1:20 after that to give the Senators a 4-2 lead after forty minutes.
Ottawa scored four times on 17 shots in the third to make in a rout. Norris and Batherson scored at even strength before Brady Tkachuk and Nick Paul tacked on a pair of 5-on-3 power-play goals 33 seconds apart later in the period to complete the scoring.
Batherson set up three goals to finish with four points and Norris added an assist to finish with three points. Connor Brown also had three helpers.
Full credit to the visiting Senators, who played a fast, hungry, opportunistic game, while the Panthers looked like a sloppy AHL team with an overmatched goalie in Spencer Knight, who allowed all eight goals on 38 shots. On a night when the Cats needed its special teams to come through to keep up with a very determined opponent, they went 0 for 6 on the power play and surrender a shorty. Ugh... Definitely some work to do before facing the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
Law & Order
- Ottawa’s eight goals were the most its scored in a regular-season game since an 8-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 24, 2012.
- Anthony Duclair returned to the lineup after missing eight games. Duclair registered three shots on goal, a block and a -2 rating in 14:45 TOI.
- Anton Forsberg made 33 saves for the Senators to pick up his sixth win of the season.
- Aleksi Heponiemi made it down from Charlotte in time to play in his first NHL game of the season. Heponiemi went -2 with two shots on goal.
- Defesnemen Olii Juolevi play his second game with Florida and was the only Panther to post a plus rating.
- For more on Ottawa’s explosive win over the Cats, check out Silver Seven Sens