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Florida Panthers get by Ottawa Senators, win 6-5

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Ryan Dzingel and Michael Matheson each had multi-goal games.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers
Marc Methot battles for the puck with Michael Matheson.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers jostled by the Ottawa Senators in yet another high scoring game, taking the regulation victory 6-5.

Florida opened up the scoring three minutes in, with Michael Matheson making a rush to the net and the puck somehow tricking through Condon and the two Sens defensemen. Both teams were giving up chances left and right, but it was Florida who got on the board first

The Panthers’ lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Ryan Dzingel received a crisp pass from Kyle Turris and fired it past Roberto Luongo. 24 seconds later, notable goal scorer Mark Pysyk would pot one past Condon, restoring the Panthers’ lead.

With the period halfway through, the scoring kept on flowing. Dzingel would get his second of the game, burying one from the side of the net after a missed shot from the point deflected off the boards. Game tied 10 minutes in, on pace for 25 goals.

Period one was a bit scrappy as well with plenty of offsetting minors, creating plenty of 4-on-4 hockey. Chris Wideman took advantage of the extra space, strolling into the middle of the circle and blasting a slapshot past Luongo. The Panthers’ defense was way out of position on the play, but it was a wicked shot by Wideman to get him his third goal of the season and his second in consecutive games. Mark Stone also finally got his 100th career assist, after sitting on 99 for the last eight games.

Ottawa led by a single goal after one, although the Panthers led in shots 13-11.

The shootout would continue into the second period, as Ottawa and Florida exchanged goals in the first three minutes. An Erik Karlsson slapshot would beat Luongo again, getting his first goal in 21 games (not including his goal at the All-Star Game on Sunday). Colton Sceviour answered 18 seconds later, making the game 4-3. Neither goalie looked sharp tonight, combining for a .865 Sv%. With Reimer becoming a father earlier in the day, and Andrew Hammond just returning from injury, neither team was keen on make a goaltending change.

Seconds away from the game being half over, Matheson got his second goal of the night to tie the game 4-4. The 22-year-old defenseman has been one of the Panthers’ bright spots of the season, emerging as a top-4 defender in his rookie season. At this point, five of the eight goals had been scored by defensemen.

Later in the frame, both benches would gift each other with too-many-men penalties. Neither team would capitalize, although Luongo saved a grade A chance with Kyle Turris is front. The penalties continued to flow as well, with Dion Phaneuf taking his second minor penalty, and both teams combining for 30 penalty minutes (all in minors). Incredible how all eight goals so far were at even strength. Florida ended the second period leading in shots 26-24.

A complete juxtaposition to the first 40 minutes, both teams decided to finally flip the defensive switch in the period three. By the frame’s halfway mark, both teams combined for only seven shots, and not a single penalty was taken. Then with six minutes left, this happened...

A gaffe by Mike Condon behind the net gave Jonathan Marchessault his 15th goal of the season, and the Panthers the go-ahead goal. Ottawa challenged the play for offside, although the goal stood. Condon would be pulled in the final minute with the Sens trailing by one, although Jason Demers would add the empty-netter. What was once a 4-2 lead turned into being down 6-4.

Derick Brassard scored with 11 seconds left, although it was all for nothing as the Panthers defeated the Sens by the final score of 6-5.

Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson

Although the Sens could’ve potentially forced OT had the empty net goal not bounced over his stick, Karlsson had one heck of a night. He finished the night with a goal and an assist, and created plenty of offensive chances for the Sens. His eight shots on goal were more than anyone on either team.

Honourable Mention: The fourth line

In their first game in a while without Lazar, the fourth line had a Corsi differential of +5, and each player finished with a 5v5 CF% above 63%. Kudos for not getting caved in.

Sens Zero: Mike Condon

Gaffe aside, Condon finished the game with a .815 5v5 Sv%. This is his fourth game of the month with at least four goals allowed, and it appears that the 25 consecutive games played is wearing him down. Now that Hammond’s back from injury, it may be time to end Condon’s streak.

Sens Killer: Michael Matheson

With two goals on the night and seven shots on goal, Matheson was a force to be reckoned with for the Senators. He was also the only Panthers player with multiple blocked shots.

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