If the Panthers learn anything from Wednesday evening’s 5-4 loss to the Senators, it’s the following:
SHOOT THE PUCK!
Despite rebounding from a poor performance Saturday against the Capitals, the Panthers left themselves far too much to do against the Eastern Conference-leading Senators.
Through 40 minutes, the Panthers had taken only 11 shots on Ottawa goalie Ray Emery, and through 50 minutes they had taken only 12 shots. Meanwhile, the Senators took shots from every nook and cranny at BankAtlantic Center and wound up snapping a seven-game losing streak.
“You’re not going to beat many goalies if you’re not getting pucks on them,” said forward Gregory Campbell. “In this league you have to shoot, you have to get lots of shots and people in front of the net. For whatever reason, we did try to be too cute on a lot of plays.”
Said Olli Jokinen, who scored two of the Panthers’ four goals; “We can learn something from this. We need to crash the net, shoot from bad angles.”
And that doesn’t just included the forwards. Panther defensemen had only two shots on the night.
It was a strange game from the outset for the Panthers. Just seven minutes into the first period and after only five Senator shots, the Panthers were down 2-0 and Tomas Vokoun had gone from starting goalie to riding the bench.
"Lot of positive stuff. The work effort was there... I think the main thing is to keep work effort where it was. I didn't see any problems keeping up with them or battling against those guys." - Captain Olli Jokinen
Stat of the Game
The Panthers were outshot 32-25 by the Senators Wednesday night.
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1. Jason Spezza
2. Randy Robitaille
3. Steve Montador
After Randy Robitaille picked off a pass in the Panther zone and put a wrist shot high above Vokoun’s glove at 6:48, Mike Fisher scored on a wrist shot from the left boards just 22 seconds later to make it 2-0.
Vokoun was out and Craig Anderson was in.
“I thought we needed to change things,” said GM and coach Jacques Martin. “Shake up the troops.”
The move seemed to work. Jokinen made it 2-1 when he scored his 13th goal of the season on the power play at 10:21 of the opening period when he slid the puck from behind the net, off the skate of Senator defenseman Andrej Meszaros, and past Emery. Six minutes later, defenseman Steve Montador blasted the puck from the right point past Emery to tie the game at two.
After killing off a 5-on-3 penalty for 1:28 that ran into the second period – one penalty being a bench minor for ‘abusive language’ - the Panthers had their chances. But at 7:06 of the period, after the Panthers once again failed to get the puck out of their end, Nick Foligno tipped a shot by Meszaros past Anderson for a 3-2 lead.
The Senators final two goals were blueprints of how to score when throwing the puck at the net. First, Jason Spezza scored from down low near the goal line, then Robitaille was credited with his second goal when a shot from the corner by Spezza bounced off Robitaille, who was driving toward the net.
After Kamil Kreps failed to score on a penalty shot at 4:35 of the third period, the Panthers got goals from David Booth (No. 8) with 9:34 remaining in regulation and another from Jokinen with 15 seconds remaining. But it was too little too late and an ending reminiscent of their loss last week to Boston.
“The effort was there,” said forward Stephen Weiss. “We forechecked, had possession down there. We just have to shoot the puck.”
Martin said the Panthers will begin to “refocus” during practice Thursday morning as they prepare to play host Friday to the Islanders.
Defenseman Steve Montador had two assists to go along with his goal…Kamil Kreps won seven of 10 faceoffs…David Booth’s eight goals have all come at even strength and he leads the league in that category…Nathan Horton and Jozef Stumpel continue their goal slump. Horton (2 shots Wednesday) has only two goals in his last 16 games while Stumpel (no shots) has a goal in his last 17 games…Jassen Cullimore, who left Saturday’s game with a knee injury, was back in the lineup as was Weiss, who missed Saturday’s game with an illness…
1 - 0 OTT
2 - 0 OTT
2 - 1 OTT
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 OTT
4 - 2 OTT
4 - 3 OTT
5 - 3 OTT