Sogaard’s 32 saves, Tkachuk’s two points help Senators pounce on Panthers
A goal and an assist by Brady Tkachuk helped the Ottawa Senators get past the visiting Florida Panthers 5-2 on Monday night.
Erik Brannstrom, Alex DeBrincat, Tim Stutzle and Shane Pinto also scored goals for the Senators (36-33-5), while Mads Sogaard made 32 saves for the win.
The Panthers (36-31-7), who have now lost four straight games, got two goals from Gustav Forsling and a 21-save performance from Sergei Bobrovsky.
Holding a slim 3-2 late in the game, Stutzle scored at 17:37 to give the Senators the insurance goal they would need. Shane Pinto then scored into an empty net with 90 seconds to play to ice the game.
With virtually no room for error in pursuit of a playoff position, the Senators came out swinging opening up a 2-0 lead before the end of the opening 20 minutes.
Tkachuk opened the scoring on a nice setup from Thomas Chabot nine minutes into the game. Chabot made a stutter-step move at the blue line before driving to the middle of the ice before dishing off to Tkachuk for a one-timer from the side of the goal.
Then, with just over a minute to play in the opening period, Brannstrom picked up a loose puck in front and beat Bobrovsky with a quick shot on the power play.
The Panthers got one back six minutes into the second period when Forsling beat Sogaard with a point shot, but DeBrincat restored Ottawa’s two-goal lead when he finished off a three-way passing play on the power play with less than a minute to play in the second period.
Forsling scored his second goal of the game just seconds after the Senators killed off a penalty midway through the third period.
The Senators were 3-for-4 on the power play, while the Panthers went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Monday marked the second of three meetings this season between the Senators and Panthers. The Panthers were 5-3 winners in Florida on Oct. 29. They will close out the season series in Florida on April 6. … Jacob Chychrun, Ridly Greig, Cam Talbot, Tyler Kleven, Parker Kelly and Julien Gauthier were scratches for the Senators Monday. Casey Fitzgerald and Sam Bennett were scratches for the Panthers.
The Senators wrap up their three-game homestand with games Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers and Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Panthers continue their road swing in Toronto Wednesday and then in Montreal against the Canadiens Thursday.
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