Game Recap: OTT @ FLA - Panthers Stun Senators

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 04: Jack Skille #12 of the Florida Panthers celebrates his insurance goal at 18:34 of the third period against the Ottawa Senators at the BankAtlantic Center on March 4, 2012 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Senators 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Pre-Game Warmup

The Ottawa Senators look to bounce back after a mediocre effort against the Chicago Blackhawks, in which they lost 2-1. They head out to face the Florida Panthers who desperately need this win to stay ahead of Winnipeg and Washington. Robin Lehner would get his 4th consecutive start for the Sens while Jose Theodore would get the nod for the Panthers. Rob Klinkhammer would also make his Senators debut on the 2nd line with Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson.

The First Period

The Sens came out with a lot more jump this game, led by the second line featuring the newcomer Klinkhammer. In fact this line would be on for Ottawa’s first goal. At 13:23 Jared Cowen would wrist a seeing eye puck that would find its way through Klinkhammer’s legs and past Theodore to give the Sens the lead. With under two minutes to go in the period Ottawa would increase their lead with Chris Neil finding the back of the net after some good pressure by the 3rd line. After one the Sens would lead 2-0.                        

The Second Period

Down 2-0 the Florida Panthers needed to turn the game around quickly and they did. Just 33 seconds in Marcel Goc would tip a point shot right over Lehner to bring them back within one. Just over two minutes later they would tie the game on a bad line change by the Senators that would lead to Krystofer Barch finding himself on the breakaway and deking past Lehner for the goal. The Panthers would continue to dominate and would be rewarded with Neil taking a high sticking double minor penalty at 10:03. Florida would be quick to capitalize with Mikael Samuelsson getting a goal just a minute into the powerplay. After 40, the Panthers would score three unanswered to have the 3-2 lead.

The Third Period

Florida would play a perfect 3rd period, preventing the Senators from gaining any momentum. Frustration would show for Ottawa with Erik Karlsson taking a slashing penalty late in the period. To add insult to injury at 18:34 Jack Skille would wrist one past Lehner after having snuck past a pinching Karlsson to create a 2 on 1 break. The Panthers score four unsanswered to win the game 4-2.

+ Pluses +

+ Jim O’Brien – Another solid game for recent callup O’Brien. Chipped in an assist and was one of the few Senators who was consistent all night. If he continues this play expect him to be in the mix for a roster spot next season.

+ Rob Klinkhammer – A great Senators debut for Klinkhammer. Won many puck battles and led the team in hits. I fully expect to see him in the lineup on Tuesday against Tampa.

- Minuses -

– Erik Karlsson – One of the few bad games he’s had this season. Too much individual play, especially in the 3rd period leading to frustration on his part.

– Secondary Scoring – At some point Condra, Greening, Butler etc need to start scoring. Right now it’s extremely easy for opponents to win when the Sens only have their star players scoring goals.

Game Highlights

Will Post When Available

*** Senshot’s Three Stars ***

* Mike Weaver: 0G 2A – Played 21:05 and contributed on Florida’s first two goals.

** Marcel Goc: 1G 0A – Led Florida with 5 shots. Was responsible for Florida’s first goal with a nice tip that got the comeback started.

*** Jack Skille: 1G 1A – Played under 10 minutes, but still contributed two points including a nice goal at the end to put the game away.

Final Thoughts

Very dissapointing game, especially considering the fact they had a 2-0 lead. This was a great opportunity for the Sens to try and pass the Bruins who also lost today. Spezza and Karlsson had 0 shots on net today as well, and when they’re not scoring, nobody’s scoring. It’s never a good sign when your two best players are O’Brien and Klinkhammer. Many of the Sens need to get out of their slumps sooner than later or the losses will start piling up. Ottawa heads to Tampa on Tuesday to face the Ligntning and ex-Senator and lucky charm Brian Lee. Until next time, Go Sens Go!

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