|FLA||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|OTT||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
OTTAWA - With the Ottawa Senators poised to return to the playoffs, Daniel Alfredsson likes how the club is rounding into form.
The Senators captain scored 20th goal of the season early in the third period and the Ottawa won its fourth straight, 3-2 over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
"We can match up against anybody I think," Alfredsson said. "We know how close it is and how close a (playoff) series will be, but we feel that if we can continue here all the way to the playoffs, we can do some damage."
Stephen Weiss and Steven Reinprecht scored for the Panthers, who got a 22-save performance from Tomas Vokoun.
Alfredsson fired a shot from just inside the blue line early in the third period to give Ottawa a 3-1 lead. He is only four games played away from the 1,000 mileston in the NHL. He has scored at least 20 goals in 10 straight seasons.
The Senators, who missed the playoffs last season but are now fifth in the Eastern Conference with 87 points, got into penalty trouble later in the period and handed the Panthers two 5-on-3 power plays.
Reinprecht beat Elliott on the first opportunity at 13:14, but the Panthers failed to convert on the other. Elliott made a huge glove save on Nathan Horton to keep Florida at bay.
"We did a great job killing those off," Elliott said. "Even if we get those penalties, we're confident that we can kill them off."
After a sluggish first period, both teams came out with a much better effort in the second.
The Panthers opened the scoring when Weiss sneaked a shot behind Elliott seven minutes into the period.
Cullen tied the game at 15:02, burying Karlsson's rebound over Vokoun.
"I try to do my role every game," Karlsson said. "I think it's more of the team playing good and then the guys play good."
Karlsson has been getting increased responsibilities recently. Senators coach Cory Clouston has been pleased with the young defenceman's play.
"He's done a lot of good things in different areas," Clouston said. "He's playing very well, very poised."
Regin beat Vokoun through the legs at 17:40 to give Ottawa a 2-1 lead after two. Regin has three goals in four games.
Ottawa defenceman Anton Volchenkov left the game after a collision with teammate Andy Sutton and Weiss early in the second. Clouston said the injury doesn't appear to be serious.
NOTES: The Senators were without D Filip Kuba (lower body, day-to-day), LW Milan Michalek (knee, indefinite) ... RW Shean Donovan and RW Ryan Shannon were healthy scratches ... Ottawa C Chris Kelly played in his 400th NHL career game ... The Panthers were without C Gregory Campbell (foot, day-to-day), LW David Booth (concussion, indefinite) ... The Senators next see action Tuesday against the Eastern Conference-leading Capitals in Washington (7 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).
|Stephen Weiss (26) ASST: Cory Stillman (20)|
1 - 0 FLA
|Matt Cullen (15) ASST: Erik Karlsson (16), Chris Campoli (14)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Peter Regin (12) ASST: Jason Spezza (26), Erik Karlsson (17)|
2 - 1 OTT
|PPG - Daniel Alfredsson (20) ASST: Jason Spezza (27), Erik Karlsson (18)|
3 - 1 OTT
|PPG - Steve Reinprecht (16) ASST: Cory Stillman (21), Bryan McCabe (32)|
3 - 2 OTT
|Matt Carkner Fighting (maj) against Nick Tarnasky|
|Nick Tarnasky Fighting (maj) against Matt Carkner|
|Radek Dvorak Tripping against Mike Fisher|
|Bryan McCabe Illegal equipment|
|Erik Karlsson Roughing against Bryan Allen|
|Stephen Weiss Roughing against Erik Karlsson|
|Bryan Allen Roughing against Erik Karlsson|
|Jason Spezza Tripping against Shawn Matthias|
|Alex Kovalev Interference on goalkeeper against Tomas Vokoun|
|Chris Kelly Tripping against Michael Frolik|
|SA: 25||TOI: 58:44|
|Saves: 22||EV: 21 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 2|
|SV%: .880||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 22||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 20||EV: 18 - 19|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 3|
|SV%: .909||SH: 0 - 0|