NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Florida
(Wednesday, March 31st)
Final Score: Ottawa 5, Florida 4
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Martin Havlat scored late in the third period to snap a tie and lift Ottawa to a 5-4 win over Florida at the Office Depot Center.
Havlat, Marian Hossa and Antoine Vermette each posted a goal and an assist for the Senators, who earned their second straight win and are unbeaten in their last four (3-0-1).
Wade Redden and Chris Phillips also scored for Ottawa, which moved a point ahead of Toronto for fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race and within a point of Boston, which leads the Northeast Division. The Senators have 100 points and reached the century mark for the second straight year.
"We showed the character to come back," Hossa said. "It was what we needed going into the playoffs."
Juraj Kolnik finished with a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who lost for the sixth time in seven games (1-5-0-1). Olli Jokinen, Christian Berglund and Mike Van Ryn also scored, while Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots.
The Senators, who led 2-0 early, rallied from a 4-3 deficit. Hossa's shorthanded goal, a tip-in, forged a 4-4 tie with 4:29 to go in the second period.
Havlat's 31st of the season, with 6:26 remaining in the third period, put the Senators ahead 5-4. Mike Fisher won a faceoff and slid the puck near the outside of the left circle to Havlat, who beat Luongo with a one-timer.
"The bottom line is you've got to get two points," Florida head coach John Torchetti said. "We came back and did a lot of good things, but we did a lot of simple things wrong too. [Ottawa] is a Stanley Cup contender."
Ottawa opened the game with two quick goals and led 3-1 at the end of the first period.
Redden scored first, at 3:26 on the power play. Over four minutes later, Vermette put the Senators ahead 2-0. Skating through the crease, he gathered a rebound and converted on a high wrist shot at 7:42.
Jokinen pulled the Panthers within 2-1 with less than a minute to go in the first on a wrist shot
Phillips capped the scoring in the first for Ottawa. He converted in the final second of the period with a wrist shot.
Florida forged a 3-3 tie early in the second period.
Berglund's goal on a high wrist shot from the right circle at 4:07 pulled the team within 3-2.
Then Van Ryn's first goal in 15 games -- a shorthanded tally from the right circle 2:26 later -- brought the team even and chased Ottawa goaltender Martin Prusek, who stopped 15-of-18 shots in 26 minutes, 33 seconds.
Kolnik put the Panthers ahead 4-3 on a wrist shot. His 14th goal of the season came on a 2-on-1 with 7:11 to play in the second period.
Ray Emery stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced, including all 11 in the third period, to earn the win for Ottawa.
Luongo, who faced 35 shots, set a new NHL record by facing 2,443 shots this season. Felix Potvin set the old record during the 1996-97 season (2,438) with Toronto...Ottawa has won seven straight at Florida...Fisher recorded his 100th NHL career point...The Senators improved to 15-1-2-2 against the Southeast Division this season.
03/31 23:55:40 ET