Panthers sweep season series, beat Sens 2-0

Florida shut out the Sens 3 times in 4 games

Panthers sweep season series, beat Sens 2-0
Photo by Antonio Cuellar / Unsplash

It wasn't as dominant as the 6-0 win last week, but the Florida Panthers still stymied the Ottawa Senators in a 2-0 win. Anthony Stolarz earned the shutout, after Sergei Bobrovsky already had two shutouts against the Sens this season, making the aggregate score 16-2 across four games this season. Joonas Korpisalo was valiant in the loss, making 26 saves. The gap between these two teams felt like an absolute chasm at times through these match-ups.

The game opened with a pair of spirited bouts. First, Zack MacEwen took on Jonah Gadjovich which by consensus was (a) MacEwen's best fight as a Senator and (b) a tie. Then, Ridly Greig took on Niko Mikkola. For the first time in a few games, the Sens did not allow a goal on the first two shots against nor in the first 5 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, they did allow the first goal against – a goal that was emblematic of the whole season.

On the PK, the Sens cleared the puck and all four penalty killers changed. Anthony Stolarz did his best Anton-Forsberg-in-Sweden impression and passed the puck the length of the ice to Anton Lundell, who had an unimpeded breakaway from the blue line because no Sens had made it back from the line change. Lundell easily poked it home. The Panthers also got the second goal of the game, when Shane Pinto messed up a clearing attempt, and Nick Cousins was the eventual beneficiary of the breakdown in the Sens' zone.

The second period was what I believe commentators refer to as a perfect road period. The Sens got more of the offensive chances, played some hard defence, and only allowed 3 shots on goal (though they only took 4). The only powerplay they gave up was Erik Brannstrom retaliating on Anton Lundell, which, considering Lundell is 6'1" and was easily pinned down by Branny, I think it was a bit of a sell job. Anyway, the Sens killed the penalty, and it was a very controlled period, which might've felt a little better if the Sens weren't already down two goals and needing a little more urgency.

The third period went much like the second, with the teams being stingy with allowing chances, checking tightly, and tempers threatening to boil over. However, the Panthers got most of the offence after the midway point of the period. It wasn't until the final 3 minutes, when the Sens got Joonas Korpisalo out for the extra skater, that they got much in the way of response scoring chances. However, with Florida threatening to score on the empty net, Brady Tkachuk high-sticked Gustav Forsling in the face and that ended any chance at a comeback. The Panthers ran out the clock, and the Sens continued their run of futility against Florida.

Game Thoughts:

  • Thomas Chabot was flying tonight. He looks like he's showing he still cares even with the season well out of reach.
  • It's also nice to see how Brady and Batherson have rediscovered the chemistry they had two or three seasons ago. They seem to really understand where the other is going to be on the ice and how to find them.
  • After this performance, Stolarz is almost for sure gonna be the UFA goalie the Sens sign this summer, isn't he?
  • It's amazing to see how much these teams dislike each other. Only, what, 9 more years of the Tkachuk v. Tkachuk Bowl when these teams meet? It should make for a lot of angry, feisty hockey. Hopefully good hockey too, though most of this season's Ottawa/Florida games have been decidedly not good hockey.

Game Flow:

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