Panthers

Panthers Lose Game, Keep Division Lead

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SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 15: Zack Smith #15 of the Ottawa Senators and Tyson Strachan #23 of the Florida Panthers fight during the third period on February 15, 2012 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Senators defeated the Panthers 6-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

SUNRISE, FL – FEBRUARY 15: Zack Smith #15 of the Ottawa Senators and Tyson Strachan #23 of the Florida Panthers fight during the third period on February 15, 2012 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Senators defeated the Panthers 6-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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SUNRISE, Fla. (CBSMiami) – Coming off a three-game winning streak, all the Florida Panthers had to do Wednesday night was knock off the Ottawa Senators at the Bank Atlantic Center.

Given recent history, the Panthers should have known better than to hope for a home victory over the Senators. Ottawa is 5-0 versus the Panthers at the Bank Atlantic Center and hasn’t lost to the Cats in the last nine games of the series.

Ottawa stomped the Panthers 6-2 last night, mainly thanks to a three goal second period.

“I thought we were all over them, we felt pretty good, and then things quickly changed,’’ Matthias told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “They are so skilled, you give them anything — especially power plays — they are going to score. We just have to hope we don’t lose 10 straight to them. They’re coming up in the standings. We didn’t play the way we wanted to.’’

Florida allowed six goals at home for the first time this season, but set a season high with 44 shots. The Panthers were shooting for their first four-game winning streak in four years, but didn’t come close.

The best news for the Panthers is that the second-place Washington Capitals weren’t able to gain any ground in the race for the Southeast Division crown. Washington remains four points behind the first-place Panthers.

Florida is off Thursday and will return to the ice Friday against the Capitals at the Bank Atlantic Center.

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