WHY THE SENATORS WON
They took full advantage of a putrid defensive outing by the Florida Panthers: Every single Ottawa goal came as the result of a turnover or complete breakdown in front of goaltender Scott Clemmensen. While he’s been torched by the Senators this season (nine goals against in two games), it’s hard to blame Clemmensen for Thursday night’s debacle. The Senators completed a four-game season sweep over the Panthers, and in doing so passed them in the standings as well.
Colin Greening, Senators
The opportunistic youngster took everything the Panthers and Marek Svatos gave him. Svatos twice forced turnovers deep in the Florida zone and twice fed it to the slot, where nobody bothered to cover Greening on either of his scoring plays. Greening has six goals in 22 games this season.
Dmitry Kulikov, Panthers
Apparently the Panthers only had three giveaways in the game, but that says more about the NHL’s questionable stat-keeping than it does about actual performance. Kulikov’s doozy led to Ottawa’s second goal, part of an all-around tough game. He finished a minus-two.
Well, if you’re going to get into penalty trouble, may as well do it against the league’s 29th ranked power play. The Senators spent a good chunk of the first period in the box, as three different players took minor penalties. It would have been a good chance for Florida to take an early lead, but the Panthers’ woeful man advantage play and Ottawa’s recent PK dominance (76 of 79 kills coming in) ensured that didn’t happen.
- 6: Consecutive Ottawa wins over the Panthers.
- 6: Consecutive losses overall for Florida.
- 16-3-0: Senators’ record last 18 games in Sunrise.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Few players have taken more heat this season than Filip Kuba, who struggled to recover from a training camp broken leg and couldn’t find his groove as the season wore on. He’s finally picking it up now, scoring a point in each of the last three games. That mercifully includes his first and only goal this season, which he potted on with a point shot in the second period against the Panthers. Good work by Erik Condra to force the initial turnover and then set the screen.
This barely qualifies as news anymore, but Craig Anderson was outstanding yet again in the Senators’ net. In a city that has blown through so many disappointing goaltenders over the years, it truly is strange to see someone who just goes out every night, delivers, and makes it look easy. It wasn’t of course — Anderson still had to stop 37 shots — but it helped that Anderson was facing his former team. The netminder is now 4-0-1 lifetime against the Panthers.