Panthers Dismantled By Senators

For a good portion of the season, a hard working Florida Panthers team discovered mixed results. Now, for two straight games, they’ve shown what happens when that hard work goes away.

Rookie Bobby Butler scored two goals, and led the Ottawa Senators to a 5-1 victory over the Panthers, Wednesday night in Ottawa.

Butler got the first goal of the game 11:13 into the first period, when his backhand shot deflected off Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver and passed Scott Clemmensen. The Florida goalie was playing the pass, and the deflection caught him going the wrong way.

Just 36 seconds into the second period, the Senators made it 2-0 on a power play goal by Ryan Shannon. Shannon took a pass at the right point and skated untouched into the face off circle, blasting a slap shot passed Clemmensen.

Florida got back into the game on a Chris Higgins goal 4:18 into the second period. Higgins chipped the puck around a defender in the neutral zone and skated in on a two-on-one. Higgins’ cross ice pass attempt deflected off of an Ottawa defenseman and passed Craig Anderson.

Ottawa reclaimed its two-goal lead midway through the second period on Butler’s second goal of the game. Butler walked the puck in from the right wing boards, stick handling through multiple Panthers and roofing a wrist shot over Clemmensen.

The Senators scored twice in the final four minutes, on goals by Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza. Michalek picked up a rebound and wheeled around, sliding the puck into the open net after Clemmensen made the initial save. Spezza scored the game’s final goal as he streaked down the right wing boards and beat Clemmensen over the glove with a wrister.

The Panthers, who have only three wins in their last 10 games, travel to Atlanta to play the Thrashers at the Phillips Arena Friday night.

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