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Panthers sneak out of Ottawa with comeback victory
Ottawa, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Tom Gilbert scored the go-ahead power-play goal and Tomas Kopecky added the insurance tally while shorthanded in a 51- second span late in regulation, as Florida rallied past Ottawa, 4-2, on Thursday.
Jimmy Hayes and Alex Barkov also lit the lamp for the Panthers, who extended their season-high winning streak to five games. Scott Clemmensen picked up the victory thanks to 32 saves.
Chris Neil and Jason Spezza posted markers for the Senators, who have dropped four of six. Craig Anderson took the loss despite 31 stops.
Gilbert ripped a shot home on the short side from the left circle with 2:32 remaining and two seconds left on a high-sticking call to Sens forward Jean- Gabriel Pageau.
Spezza was dragged down on a scoring chance 17 seconds later and Mike Weaver was whistled for tripping, but Ottawa wasted a golden opportunity. Kopecky picked up the puck from a fallen Senators defender, cruised up the left wing and blistered a shot home for a 4-2 game with 1:41 to play.
"It's my job to stop the puck," said Anderson. "It's one of those things where we were there, we were close (to winning). But close isn't good enough."
Anderson was called to the bench on the hosts' next trip up the ice for a 6- on-4 edge, but the stunned hosts had no answer.
"It was a great effort," said Gilbert. "I don't necessarily think it was our best game but our special teams have been struggling and it's nice to have that come through, especially late in the game."
Shawn Matthias fed Hayes for the first goal of the contest, at the 5:39 mark, then Neil countered with 9:17 played, rushing the net and redirecting a Clarke MacArthur shot which was reviewed and determined the veteran grinder did not kick the puck in.
Spezza gave the Sens the lead with 29 seconds left on a power-play goal, where he flew up the right wing, moved through Florida rookie defenseman Dylan Olsen and beat Clemmensen with a shot under the crossbar.
Barkov evened the score with 2:49 to play in the middle frame, tipping in a Gilbert offering from the slot.
Florida posted its second win in its last six tries against Ottawa, and won in Canada's capital for the first time since a 3-0 decision on Jan. 9, 2010, snapping a seven-game losing skid ... Sens forward Mika Zibanejad suffered an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return.
12/20 00:31:03 ET
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