|@ Panthers (19-12-4)||0||1||0||1||2|
Roberto Luongo and Craig Anderson had similar amounts of pressure put on them in the first five minutes of play. Each goalie had to make a few decent saves but nothing catostrophic. The same went for the next couple of minutes, though the Panthers did seem to pick up the pace a bit. With just over 11 minutes left in the period, Mark Borowiecki was penalized for interference. Then, a high stick gone terribly wrong sent Jagr to the dressing room covered in blood. There were no penalties called in the altercation, to nearly everyone’s disbelief. Reilly Smith was also bloodied earlier in the game by a high stick that did not yield a penalty. Needless to say, the Panthers were shaken and the penalty was killed by the Senators. Thankfully, Jaromir Jagr, possibly better known as Iron Man, made his way back to the ice just minutes later. Marc Methot was penalized for holding on a call that actually stuck and the Panthers went back on the power play. This time, they were out for blood (no pun intended). Brandon Pirri had a close call but the team was unable to score on the advantage. At the end of the period, the game was scoreless. The Panthers held a pretty steep advantage in shots on goal 11-5. The Panthers looked good defensively this period and were able to generate some offense but they had a problem that they’ve had many times before: they just didn’t shoot enough. The Panthers will be able to score on Anderson, but they need to come out stronger offensively in the coming periods.
The Panthers came out in the second period looking exactly how they did in the first. Not enough quality shots had been occurring. Luckily, the Senators were not performing at their best either. After a botched goalie interference call, the Panthers skated the puck over to the offensive zone and allowed Corban Knight to score his first goal as a Panther. The goal was assisted by Quinton Howden and Jaromir Jagr. The Panthers finally found their groove after the goal. A recalled Ekblad goal caused a scrum in front of the net and for the fourth time of the night, an array of “ref you suck” chants. Then, the Panthers had their first penalty of the night. Willie Mitchell was sent to the penalty box on a high sticking call. Some shorthanded Cats opportunities allowed them to kill the penalty. As soon as the penalty ended, the Senators got a taste of their own medicine and Ryan Dznigel went to the box for slashing Vincent Trocheck. The Panthers, who were more successful shorthanded than on the man advantage, were unable to score during the power play. However, they got another opportunity to amend this judgment not long after when Jared Cowen was penalized for hooking. The penalty would carry over into the third. At the end of the period, the Panthers led the Senators 1-0. They also held the shots on goal advantage 30-12. The Cats looked much better this period, or at least in the second half of it, and should be able to come out on top if they continue to play like this in the final frame.
The Panthers’ power play that carried over from the second period was truncated after a too many men on the ice penalty was called on them. The Senators were able to change the game by scoring on the power play that came from the aforementioned call. Mark Stone scored the goal. The Cats had a chance to come back when Kyle Turris was sent to the sin bin on a hooking call. Although not for lack of trying, the Panthers were unable to take their lead back. The Panthers did lose steam slowly after the Stone goal and a regulation win seemed less and less likely. With five minutes left in the period, the same gameplay occurred. Shot on goal frequency decreased exponentially and the Senators looked tired too. As expected, the lethargic gameplay caused an overtime requirement.
The overtime period started with a missed 3-on-1 opportunity for the Panthers. After that, the Senators began to dominate puck possession. The Panthers had another great opportunity in the final seconds of overtime but still could not capitalize. In any event, neither team was able to score in the five minute session and a shootout would be necessary.
- Brandon Pirri – goal
- Mika Zibanejad – no goal
- Jonathan Huberdeau – no goal
- Kyle Turris – no goal
- Aleksander Barkov – goal
Aaron Ekblad was undoubtedly the strongest defensive player on the ice tonight. He prevented multiple Ottawa opportunities and even generated some offense, including a should-have-been goal in the second. Jaromir Jagr was a (storm)trooper tonight and was able to come back and set up the Corban Knight goal after taking a stick to the face. Speaking of which, Corban Knight may be here to stay for a while, especially after that fantastic goal. Roberto Luongo was a powerhouse tonight, saving every goal but one and winning the game for the Panthers in the shootout. Then, of course, our lord and savior Aleksander Barkov secured the shootout win with another nifty move.
After the holiday break, the Panthers are back in action against the Blue Jackets in Columbus on December 27th at 6:00 pm ET. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.