OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, Mads Sogaard stopped 32 shots and the Ottawa Senators beat the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Monday night.
Alex DeBrincat, Tim Stützle, Erik Brannstrom and Shane Pinto also scored for the Senators, who won for just the third time in 10 games (3-6-1).
“I thought we played a good game, capitalized on our chances and got a big two points. We’ve got to keep the momentum going for the next couple of games,” DeBrincat said.
Gustav Forsling scored twice for the Panthers in their fourth straight loss. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 21 saves as Florida remained three points behind Pittsburgh for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
Matthew Tkachuk was held without a point for the Panthers.
“I think for the most part we were pretty good. It wasn’t a bad performance. We just got into some penalty trouble and they capitalized on their chances,” Matthew Tkachuk said. “I thought 5-on-5 we dominated, but special teams did not go in our favor.”
The home crowd got into the action they broke into a “Brady’s better” chant on a couple of occasions.
“To be honest I thought it was awesome,” Stützle said of the chant. “I think we have to give Matthew credit, too. I think he has 97 points, he’s an unreal player and he had some chances tonight too, but in the end I’ll for sure stick with Brady.”
Brady Tkachuk got the Senators on the scoreboard first, getting a pass from Thomas Chabot and firing a slap shot past Bobrovsky for his 34th of the season 9:02 into the first period.
Brannstrom made it 2-0 with 1:05 left in the opening period, picking up a loose puck in the right circle and firing it past Bobrovsky on a power play for his third.
Forsling got the Panthers on the board 5:58 into the second, with a long one-timer from the left point past Sogaard.
DeBrincat's one-timer from the left circle off a pass from Drake Batherson on a power play pushed the Senators' lead to 3-1 with 38 seconds left in the middle period. It was his 24th.
Forsling got his second of the night and 12th of the season at 9:15 of the third to pull the Panthers back within one.
However, Stützle scored Ottawa's third power-play goal of the night with 2:23 remaining for his 36th, and Pinto added an empty-netter less than a minute later to cap the scoring.
“We took too many penalties and they really made us pay on their power play,” Forsling said. “We’ve been pretty good 5-on-5 but they have skilled guys on the power play and we took some stupid penalties.”
BETTMAN EXPECTS SENATORS SALE THIS SUMMER
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman met with Ottawa mayor Mark Sutcliffe and the National Capital Commission representatives before the game.
Following his day at City Hall and reviewing the proposed site for a potential new downtown arena, Bettman met with the media at the Canadian Tire Centre and offered very little with regards to the sale of the NHL franchise, saying only that there are about half a dozen candidates still in the mix to purchase the club.
He described the process for the sale of the franchise as “robust” and that the level of interest expressed has been “meaningful.” Bettman also said it should take about another six weeks to be finalized. He did add that midsummer is the likely time frame for final approval.
“To make things crystal clear, and I’ve said this repeatedly, if the team is going to move, the only move that will be permitted is downtown," Bettman said. "The Senators are not leaving Ottawa.”
Panthers: At Toronto on Wednesday night in the second of a four-game trip.
Senators: Host Philadelphia on Thursday night in the middle game of a three-game homestand.