The new kids on the block. No, not the wrinkled “boy band” slated to perform at Scotiabank Place this summer — the kids performing there right now for the Senators. The team played with the kind of energy one would expect from a bunch of youngsters trying to land jobs in the NHL: They skated hard, they deployed an aggressive forecheck and played with confidence in front of a goaltender who can actually make a big save from time-to-time. The end result was their first win on home ice in 2011.
Bobby Butler, Senators
Considering how much the Senators have struggled to score this season, you wonder how the kid makes it look so easy. Butler notched the first two-goal game of his NHL career, putting one puck in off an opposing defenceman and roofing another past Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen. Butler, with seven points in five games, is Ottawa’s best player right now.
Keaton Ellerby, Panthers
Butler’s second goal, which made the score 3-1 and made a Cat comeback highly unlikely, ended a play that included a couple of Ellerby giveaways. He wasn’t the only one to blame though — Cory Stillman also lost the puck, while Bryan McCabe’s attempted shot block was ineffective. Total breakdown.
Craig Anderson. Seriously! There’s a lot to be said for a goaltender who makes routine saves look routine and one and two-goal leads feel relatively safe. It’s only been two games — and two games against pretty bad teams at that — but you get the sense that the Senators don’t fear every mistake will end up in the back of their own net anymore. Anderson instructs his defencemen on the ice, stays square to the puck and plays it well when he leaves his crease. He stopped 23 shots on the night.
- 10: Ottawa’s home losing streak entering this game.
- 3: Consecutive home wins against the Panthers.
- 4: Florida wins over the past 17 games.
- 1: Assist for Colin Greening, his first in the NHL.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
The start of this game. It was another rare 7 p.m. weekday start, which appeared to fool more than a few fans. The Senators looked to be on pace for new franchise record low attendance prior to the game, but the rink filled out a bit as people finally made it in from the parking lot. Not that it was packed or anything (16,520) — we’re still talking about the NHL’s 26th and 29th place teams playing on a Wednesday.