Panthers Blow Early Lead In 4-2 Loss To Ottawa

Dec 3, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Clarke MacArthur (16) checks Florida Panthers right wing Brad Boyes (24) in front of goalie Craig Anderson (not pictured) who has his helmet knocked off in the first period at BB&T Center. Robert Mayer USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers blew an early 2-0 first period lead in a 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

The Panthers scored a pair of early power play goals and had a two goal lead before the midway point of the first period. Their lead was short lived however, as the Senators bounced back from the early deficit to take control of the game and never look back. Ottawa outshot Florida 45-32 and scored the final four goals of the game en route to the victory.

Florida converted on a 5-on-3 at 6:44 in the first when Jonathan Huberdeau fired a rebound off a Tomas Fleischmann shot, past Senators goal Craig Anderson. The goal was Huberdeau’s sixth of the season. Tomas Fleischmann and Brian Campbell picked up the assists thus snapping Fleischmann’s nine game pointless streak.

The Panthers power play was not finished as they struck again at 8:22 in the first, this time with one second remaining on a 5-on-4 advantage. With the puck in the corner, Scottie Upshall drew the focus of the Senators’ penalty kill and dished to a wide open Brian Campbell who used all that time and space to snipe top corner on Anderson. With the assist, Upshall stretched his current point streak to four games.

With all the momentum in Florida’s favor, the Senators cut the lead in half when a seemingly innocuous Joe Corvo wrist shot form the point made its way past a screened Tim Thomas. The Sens would strike again with just 1:45 left in the first when Erik Condra fired home a loose puck to tie the game.

The Senators scored the game winner on a power play with just 43 seconds remaining in the second period. It was Ottawa’s second flukey goal of the game and it came off another harmless Joe Corvo point shot. This time the puck deflected off the knee of Colin Greening in front of the net bouncing high into the air over a sprawling Tim Thomas, and just under the crossbar into the back of the net.

Bobby Ryan put the game on ice with his 14th of the season when a Panther defensive zone turnover led to a chance the other way. The Panthers have now lost three straight at home and fall to 7-16-5. They still have yet to defeat an Atlantic Division opponent. With the win the Senators improve to 11-13-4.

Here are some notes from the game:

  • The Senators scored the game winning goal on the power play but despite this, the Panthers looked excellent on the PK all night. The Senators finished the game 1 for 7 on the power play. The Panthers had a stretch of six straight penalties without the Senators taking any. Florida looked good on the power play converting on two of three opportunities.
  • Mike Mottau was in the lineup tonight in place of Dmitry Kulikov, well… barely in the lineup is more like it. Mottau played just 4:34 in the game and still managed to take two penalties during that time. Maybe he took a knock of some sort but I think the more likely scenario is that Mottau played himself right into Peter Horachek’s doghouse. It is probably safe to say that Kulikov will be back in the lineup on Thursday when the Panthers take on the Jets.
  • Despite making 41 saves, Tim Thomas never looked like he was comfortable out there against the Sens. Two of Ottawa’s goals were sketchy and bad-puck-luckish but even putting those aside, it looked like Thomas was fighting the puck all night. When Thomas is on his game, his aggressive style has an air of calculated madness, like an avant-garde jazz solo. That madness toes a razor thin line and sometimes when Thomas is not on, his game is less like jazz and more like a shrill five-year-old blowing into a trumpet.
  • The player I was most impressed by tonight was Erik Karlsson. Although he did not register a point, he did log 28:05 of ice time and he seemed to be constantly involved in the Senators’ offense. I think he has to be at the forefront of the conversation for most dynamic player in the league. The plays he makes and the chances he takes are enough to stop your heart.
  • The Panthers wrap up their five game home stand on Thursday when they face the Winnipeg Jets. Florida is 1-3-0 so far on their home stand.
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Topics: Florida Panthers, Jonathan Huberdeau

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