The Ottawa Senators started a three-game road trip with a convincing 8-2 rout over the surging Florida Panthers, who prior to tonight were 14-1-0 on home ice and were sitting in first place, not only in the Eastern Conference but the entire NHL. And this victory comes right on the heels of the Sens shutting out the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions 4-0 Saturday afternoon.
With this victory over the league leading Florida Panthers, the Sens have won five of its last six games. As a result of the loss, Florida drops to second behind the Toronto Maple Leafs who defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-1 last night.
In Florida, the Sens benefitted from a wealth of scoring depth as: Josh Norris (2), Austin Watson, Dylan Gambrell, Tim Stützle, Drake Batherson, Brady Tkachuk and Nick Paul scored for the Senators (9-16-1). Goalie Anton Forsberg was stable between the pipes, coming up with 33 saves to help secure the emphatic victory. Panthers goalie Spencer Knight faced 38 shots while Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Reinhart scored for Florida in the losing cause.
“We knew starting this road trip that we needed this first one,” Paul told NHL.com. “Our team played well, we played together, we played hard, we played the right way and the outcome showed it.”
Tied at 2-2 late in the second, the Sens erupted with six unanwsered goals as they scoring eight road goals in a game for the first time since April 3, 2008. It was the 18th time the Sens have scored eight or more goals in a game in franchise history and was the first time since March 24, 2012.
“There’s a real good feeling in that room right now but we have to make sure we stay on the pedal,” Senators head coach D.J. Smith said.
Over the Sens’ last two games, Ottawa has 12 combined for 12 goals against two of the league’s top teams while limiting them to just two goals.
Over the last six games, the Ottawa Senators have netted 26 goals and amassed 10 points after wins over the Hurricanes, Avalanche, Devils, Lightning and Panthers. The Sens only loss in six games was at the hands of the struggling New York Islanders.
With the win over the Panthers, the Ottawa Senators improve their record to 9-16-1, sitting seventh in the Atlantic Division after 26 games. Five of those nine victories have come in the last six games.
Up next for the Ottawa Senators in the ‘Sunshine State,’ is a rematch with the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
lead photo Otttawa Senators celebrate 8-2 defeat of Florida Panthers, photo by Ottawa Senators on Instagram