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Ottawa Senators Beat Florida Panthers 3-1 in Final Home Game

The win saw Erik Karlsson become the highest-scoring defenceman in 20 years

Two legends standing side by side
Two legends standing side by side
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

If Tuesday's game seemed meaningless, I don't even know what to call this game. The Senators were well out of a playoff spot, and the Panthers had wrapped up first in the division and second in the conference. That being said, there were a number of notable moments in the game.

The first period featured Mika Zibanejad scoring his 20th of the season, only to have it called back because of a very marginal offside. But later in the period, he got his 20th for real on the powerplay. It meant Zibanejad tied his career high in goals, after already setting a career high in assists, all this despite many people saying he was having a down year. That goal gave Erik Karlsosn his 65th assist and 81st point of the season, which was a pretty big deal. Having five 20-goal scorers tied the Sens with four other teams for the most 20-goal scorers in the league.

The second period featured another notable milestone: Buddy Robinson scoring his first career NHL goal. He tipped in a Cody Ceci point shot, which must have been a huge relief after taking two penalties and being benched in his first game. The assist gave Ceci 40 points for the first time in his career. The second also saw Ben Harpur pull out some slick dangles, which had him and the rest of the team laughing on the bench.

The third period saw Jaromir Jagr cut the lead to one on a strong play by the Panthers' top line, but it was all they could muster. Ceci scored a goal on a great individual effort with five minutes left, gloving down a clearing attempt, then pushing around the defence before ripping one home. With the Cats' goalie pulled, Mike Hoffman tried to get his 30th of the season but couldn't quite bury it. And with that the Sens finished their last home game of the season, a solid 3-1 win.

After the game, the Sens came out to give jerseys and autographed sticks to fans. It included Chris Phillips coming out in full equipment for likely the last time at the CTC. An emotional sight of a classy player that nobody (not even himself) realized was done when he played his last game last season.

Sens Hero: Mika Zibanejad

It's taken a little while, but I think he's come into his own as the team's top centre. He and Hoffman have shown some real chemistry that I hope they can carry into next season. Z-bad 2.0 plus Kyle Turris will be a great centre duo for the next couple years.

Honourable Mention: Buddy Robinson

Scoring your first career NHL goal is always a plus, and then having 75% of the shot attempts when your line is on the ice is definitely a bonus. Great to see a solid game once his nerves were out of the way.

Honourable Mention: Craig Anderson

He stopped 33 of 34 shots and I'm surprised no one was talking about this.

Game Flow:

Note that Natural Stat Trick now does score and venue adjustment. So the thick line is 5v5 shot attempts adjusted for score and venue, while the thin line is just 5v5 shot attempts.

Shot Chart:

Game Info:

Highlights:

Why would they have these up within four hours of the game ending? The new NHL.com is everything we hoped and prayed for!