For 51 minutes Thursday night, the game between the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators was just as advertised – two teams playing out the string of disappointing seasons. However, an exciting final nine minutes left the Senators on the right side of a 2-1 final, in Sunrise.
Former Panther Craig Anderson was impressive, and stopped 33 shots on 34 attempts en route to the game’s first star. Tomas Vokoun played well too, making 37 saves on 39 shots.
It wasn’t until 11:12 into the third period that first blood was drawn, on a goal by Erik Karlsson. Karlsson walked the puck in from the left wing boards and stuffed a shot on net that trickled passed Vokoun.
However, Karlsson wasn’t done, as he added his second goal of the game on the power play just over three minutes later. Sergei Gonchar’s point shot rebounded to Karlsson, who roofed it over the fallen Vokoun.
Less than a minute after Ottawa went up by two, Clay Wilson cut the deficit in half. Wilson picked up a loose puck right in front of the Ottawa net, and got enough on a shot to get it across the line passed Anderson. It was Wilson’s second goal in as many games, after he recorded his first in four seasons on Tuesday night.
The Panthers dropped back to under .500 on home ice this season. However, they will get a chance to change that in their fourth game of a seven-game home stand, Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.