For the fourth straight game, it was the Sens that struck first in the hockey game allowing them to set the tone in this one.
Jim O'Brien, who has seen his role increase with each passing game, beat Clemmensen on a wrap around for his first goal in the National Hockey League. Later in the opening frame, the Panthers drew even when Shawn Matthias walked around Sergei Gonchar and beat Anderson high on the glove side.
In the second period, the Ottawa Senators took control.
Kaspars Daugavins deflected a point shot from Brian Lee to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. Not long after that, Bobby Butler finished off a terrific three way passing play, with Michalek and Spezza picking up the helpers. Then with the Sens shorthanded, Daniel Alfredssson was sprung on the breakaway and beat Clemmensen like a rented mule for his 20th of the season. For Alfie, that is his 13th twenty goal season of his impressive career.
Early in the third, Michalek deflected an Erik Karlsson feed past Theodore to give Ottawa a commanding 5-1 lead and put this one to bed. Campbell and Kuba would exchange goals before the third period expired.
In a game where the scoreboard seems to indicate a one-sided win, Craig Anderson was extremely sharp in the Sens goal. The Panthers had a number of chances to score and kill the Ottawa momentum but Anderson was there to shut the door. He finished with 42 saves.
The red hot Ducks edged the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight doing the Sens a favour in the East. The Oilers and Leafs go head to head later tonight. With the win, Ottawa pulls even with the 6th place New Jersey Devils. Jersey has four games in hand.
The Senators did their part, winning both of their games this week. They now have to sit back and watch as the teams behind them play some of those games in hand. The Sens don't play again until Monday afternoon when they visit the New York Islanders.
- With a three point game, Jason Spezza has now sits alone in second place in NHL scoring with 63 points. Spezza is good. Really, really good. Multi point nights all around tonight as Lee, Michalek, Alfredsson and Daugavins all had two points a piece.
- Like many of the guys in the Sens line up, Jared Cowen struggled during that seven game losing streak. He has been much better the last few games. Really liked the way he played in Tampa last night and he followed that up with a +3 performance tonight. Cowen led all Sens with 5:44 of shorthanded ice time.