Gilbert, Kopecky lift Panthers to 5th straight win
- Associated Press
- December 19, 2013 - 9:55 PM
OTTAWA, Ontario — Tom Gilbert and Tomas Kopecky scored in the final three minutes, and the Florida Panthers topped the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Thursday night for their fifth straight win.
Gilbert beat Craig Anderson with a one-timer off a pass from Tomas Fleischmann with 2:32 left and only two seconds remaining in a high-sticking penalty to Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
Then, with the Senators on a power play, Erik Karlsson fell in the Panthers' zone, allowing Kopecky to break out on a 2-on-1 rush. He elected to shoot, and beat Anderson with 1:41 remaining.
Jimmy Hayes, in the first period, and Aleksander Barkov, in the second, also scored for the Panthers (14-17-5), who got 32 saves from Scott Clemmensen.
Chris Neil and Jason Spezza scored for the Senators (14-17-6), who have lost two straight and three of four.
Both teams took turns taking and giving away the lead through the first two periods, starting with the Panthers.
Jimmy Hayes opened the scoring with his fourth goal when he beat Anderson from the right hash mark at 5:39 of the first period.
After a review to see if the puck was kicked in, Neil was credited with the tying goal at 9:17 of the period. Clarke MacArthur took the original shot, but after Clemmensen made the save, the puck bounced in of Neil's skate for his fifth goal.
The Senators took the lead in the final minute of the period when Spezza made a sensational play, first getting the puck around Panthers defenseman Dylan Olsen at the faceoff circle and then beating Clemmensen high and on the short side with very little space.
It was Spezza's 11th goal of the season and first in 13 games.
Barkov tied it for the Panthers at 17:11 of the second period with his sixth of the season. He redirected Gilbert's shot past Anderson.
The Senators were also forced to play the final two periods without forward Mika Zibanejad who left after only five shifts and 2:38 of ice time because of an upper-body injury.
NOTES: Defensemen Patrick Wiercioch and Eric Cryba, along with forward Cory Conacher, sat out for the Senators. Defenseman Mike Mottau and forward Scott Gomez were scratched by the Panthers. ... The Senators have allowed an NHL-high 42 first-period goals. Entering play Thursday, Ottawa had the most penalty minutes in the league with 164. The Senators were 24th with a 78.9 percent efficiency on the penalty kill.
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