Listless Panthers fall 3-1 to Senators in final regular season road game
Cats drop relatively meaningless tilt in Ottawa
The Florida Panthers didn't have much to play for and it showed in a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators that ended a four-game winning streak. The Cats wrapped up the road portion of their regular season slate and will return home to face the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night before taking on the New York Islanders or Rangers in the first round of the Atlantic Division playoffs.
After having a goal waved off early in the first period, Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring at 18:20 when he knocked the rebound of Chris Wideman's shot past Al Montoya for his 20th goal. Erik Karlsson picked up his league-leading 65th helper with the secondary assist.
Rookie Buddy Robinson scored the only goal of the second period, his first-ever NHL tally, when he deflected in Cody Ceci's shot from the point. Tough guy Chris Neil was also credited with an assist.
The Panthers got back in the game when Jaromir Jagr notched his 27th goal 4:49 into the final frame. After taking a short pass behind the net from Alex Petrovic, Aleksander Barkov feed a waiting Jagr, who quickly drove it under Craig Anderson.
Ottawa put the game away with 5:46 left in regulation on an unassisted goal from Ceci,. The defenseman grabbed an aerial clearing attempt, set it down, and curled around Aaron Ekblad before firing by a screened Montoya for his 10th of the season.
Ex-Panther Anderson shut the door the rest of the way, finishing with 33 stops to post 31st victory of the campaign.
Law & Order
- The Panthers finished with a 22-15-4 record on the road, a six point improvement over last year's 17-16-8 mark.
- Gerard Gallant continued to work the coach's challenge, getting Mika Zibanejad's early goal wiped off the board due to a missed offsides call.
- Aleksander Barkov's assist extended his point streak to eight games. The third-year pivot has put up 12 points (5G/7A) in that span.
- Jonathan Huberdeau (seven games) and Nick Bjugstad (three games) saw their point streaks come to an end. Bjugstad had a game-high four shots on goal, tied with defenseman Brian Campbell.
- Al Montoya (12-7-3) turned aside 20 of the 23 shots he faced in what was likely his final start of the season.Roberto Luongo is expected to go in the season finale against the Hurricanes.
- After making his NHL debut Tuesday against Pittsburgh, winger Buddy Robinson bagged his first NHL goal and finished with a +2 rating.
- The fine folks at war-on-ice have the fancy stats report for you right here.
- NHL.com has a highlight package for you to see with your own eyes.
- Silver Seven has more on the last Cats - Sens clash of 2015-16. The Panthers won the season-series three games to two.