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Senators blow two-goal lead and lose 4-2 to the Panthers

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Poor Mikael Samuelsson doesn't fully understand the consequences of scoring on Robin Lehner. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Poor Mikael Samuelsson doesn't fully understand the consequences of scoring on Robin Lehner. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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After the first period, the Ottawa Senators were seemingly cruising, up 2-0 thanks to goals from Jared Cowen and Chris Neil. Couple that with the fact that the Senators had beaten Florida in all three of the previous meetings this season and a win seemed very likely.

That changed very quickly in the second period. Just 33 seconds in, the Panthers made it a 2-1 game after a deflection at the top of the crease that went up and over Robin Lehner. Two minutes later, Ottawa was caught on a bad line change, and Krys Barch scored on a breakaway that Lehner did not play well at all. Later in the second period, with the Panthers on a four-minute power play resulting from a Chris Neil high stick, Florida went ahead for good taking a 3-2 lead and turning the game around in half a period.

Ottawa would get a couple of chances in the third period, most notably Kyle Turris hitting the post, but they had only five shots in the third period and no real sustained pressure. The Panthers would ice the game with a late goal and win 4-2.

More after the jump.

Sens Hero: Kyle Turris
Turris was one of the few players that had a good night, with four shots on target and picking up an assist as well. His line with Daniel Alfredsson and newcomer Rob Klinkhammer was by far the best line for Ottawa.

Sens Zero: Erik Karlsson
Karlsson needed just a single shot on goal to break Zdeno Chara's club record for most shots on goal by a defenceman in a single season. Unfortunately, Karlsson failed to get a single shot for only the fourth time all season - two of the four have been in road games against the Panthers. He also took two penalties in the third period, including a vicious slash.

Sens Zero: Jason Spezza
Like Karlsson, Spezza did not register a shot on goal, only for the third time this season. Spezza was also on the ice for every even strength goal scored by the Panthers.


Other notes

  • At times, it feels like this team is a two-man team. If Karlsson and Spezza don't perform, the Senators are likely to lose. The Sens are 7-14-4 when Spezza doesn't get a point and 7-13-4 when Karlsson doesn't get a point. When both of them don't get a point? The record drops to 1-8-3. Thankfully they are both elite players and perform more often than not. Note: I manually checked these records, so there may or may not be a slight error.
  • Ottawa lost back to back games for the first time since the great losing streak of January.
  • Robin Lehner didn't look great tonight - but let's not expect him to be perfect. Every goaltender has bad nights and doesn't merit a demotion to the minors after every bad game.
  • The Senators are still comfortably in a playoff spot, six ahead points ahead of Winnipeg for 7th (with an extra game played) and seven points ahead of Washington for the final spot (with two extra games played).
Shot Chart

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Game Highlights