SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Ottawa Senators had a fast start and a strong finish, and they needed both against one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
Matt Duchene scored twice, including the go-ahead goal with three minutes left, to lift the Senators over the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Monday night.
Magnus Paajarvi also had two goals for Ottawa, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau added one late. Craig Anderson made 35 saves, and Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman each added two assists.
Florida had won eight straight home games.
“I think getting the big W tonight was huge for us and for our confidence,” Anderson said.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Mike Matheson and Evgenii Dadonov scored for the Panthers. Vincent Trocheck had two assists, but Roberto Luongo allowed five goals on 25 shots.
“In this homestand, we’ve been rolling,” coach Bob Boughner said. “The team has been playing well and finding ways to win. Tonight, we didn’t.”
The Panthers are three points behind New Jersey for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Duchene broke a 3-all tie when his shot from the slot went over Luongo and high into the net.
“It’s tough to sustain the pressure they had,” Duchene said. “We kind of just held the fort and (Anderson) had some big saves and we ended up getting those two (goals) late.”
Pageau poked in a rebound with 1:45 remaining to stretch the lead to 5-3.
“For some reason, I don’t know if we had a regular jump that we’ve had throughout this homestand. You factor in that we just didn’t get the start that we wanted,” Panthers captain Derek MacKenzie said. “We let a team hang around, and sooner or later something like that is going to happen.”
Paajarvi put the Senators ahead 3-2 when he swept in a rebound 42 seconds into the third period.
The Panthers tied it at 3 on Huberdeau’s goal. Trocheck passed toward the net and the puck went off Huberdeau’s skate and in at 4:23.
Aleksander Barkov had a short-handed breakaway with 4:10 left in the third but Anderson made the save on a point-blank shot.
“It was a big save for them,” Boughner said. “They needed a big save, they got it. We just couldn’t crack him at the end.”
The Panthers scored twice in the second period to tie it, outshooting the Senators 17-2.
“I’d love to comment on the second period, but I wouldn’t have appropriate words for television,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. “We reloaded in the third period.”
Dadonov’s shot from the right circle beat Anderson at 12:36. Dadonov has 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in the Panthers’ 20 games since the All-Star break.
Florida tied it at 2 when Matheson’s shot from the left circle got past Anderson with 2:32 left.
The Senators took a 1-0 just 57 seconds into the game when Duchene took a cross-ice pass from Hoffman and fired the puck past Luongo into the corner of the net.
Paajarvi made it 2-0 on his first goal. Fredrik Claesson took a shot from the point and Paajarvi tipped it in from in front with 4:44 left in the first.
NOTES: Anderson hosted the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hockey team at the game. Their group of 60 watched with tickets courtesy of Anderson, who lives in nearby Coral Springs, close to where the tragic shooting took place in Parkland on Feb. 14. “We raise our kids here and we’re living through it just like everyone else in the community,” Anderson said. “For us to give (the MSD hockey team) a night out and watch a sport that they love playing is the least that I can do for our community.” … Claesson played in his 100th NHL game. … Panthers D Keith Yandle played in his 700th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NHL. … Trocheck got his 200th career point on the goal by Matheson. … Florida forward Denis Malgin returned after missing seven games with an ankle injury.
Senators: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
Panthers: Host the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
A previous version of this story was updated with official scoring change crediting the final goal to Pageau.
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