Florida hoped to continue their win streak at home on Monday night as they faced off against the Ottawa Senators.
It was another game where the beginning efforts by the team seemed sluggish and not there mentally as the Ottawa Senators took a 1-0 in the first minute of the game.
Panthers had an early power play but the shots avoided the net as much as possible.
Late in the first period the Senators tacked on another goal, and even though it was too early to say the game was over but the way they were playing didn’t convince us otherwise.
Coach Bob Boughner had his work cut in, as the Panthers haven’t trailed by 2 goals or more in over 16 games.
Certainly though Coach had some inspirational (or vulgar) words to fire this team back into what we have seen since All-Star break.
Panthers came out the first intermission firing on all cylinders taking shot after shot, unfortunately the puck still wasn’t committing to the net.
Finally though Evgenii Dadonov, on his 29th birthday, tucked one in to cut lead down to one.
Mike Matheson took matters in his own hand late in the 2nd period as his goal tied the game at two.
Panthers played their best in the 2nd, out shooting the Senators 17-2, to take the game back to an even keel.
Their efforts weren’t unnoticed as Ottawa brought back their A-game in the 3rd scoring another early goal.
Vincent Trocheck who was shaken up after colliding with a Senators player at the end of the 2nd was back in and showed nothing will stop him or the Panthers as he passed to Jonathan Huberdeau for the goal bringing it back to a tie game.
The game changer was when Aleksander Barkov stole the puck during the Senators power play late in the game, broke away for a 1-on-1 match-up but was blocked by Senators goalie Craig Anderson.
After that the Senators scored two more goals to close the game out and giving the Panthers their first home loss since February 9th.
Of course nothing is made easy even if you have made the run like the Florida Panthers have since the break going 15-4-1.
The Blue Jackets who are fighting to keep that 8th seed locked have done a great job winning 5 in a row keeping the Cats out of contention.
The Devils and Flyers have been skidding on the ice so they give the Cats hope as well if they want to land in the Playoffs.
Also the Panthers have a 2-3 game advantage over all these teams for remaining games.
A good time to have 2 days off from the ice as the Panthers face the Bruins Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.