OTTAWA (CBSMiami/AP) — The Florida Panthers may be struggling, but the team’s top like has continued to put up points.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and the Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night in a matchup of teams eliminated from playoff contention.
Troy Brouwer, Dryden Hunt and Evgenii Dadonov also scored for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo made 28 saves.
Colin White and Brady Tkachuk scored for the Senators, who had their three-game home winning streak snapped. Anders Nilsson made 29 saves.
Trailing 3-1 to start the third, the Senators made it a one-goal game on Tkachuk’s 20th of the season.
Tkachuk, the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft, tied Alexandre Daigle for most goals in a season by a teenager with the Senators. With 12 shots on goal on Thursday, the 19-year-old also tied Jason York’s single-game franchise record, set in 1999.
Hunt and Huberdeau each scored empty-net goals to seal the win for Florida
Tied 1-1 to start the second, the Panthers had a solid period and went in front 3-1.
Just as in the first period, the Panthers scored an early goal in the second when Brouwer grabbed a rebound in front and backhanded a shot past Nilsson just two minutes in.
Less than four minutes later, Florida made it 3-1 as Huberdeau took a great pass from captain Aleksander Barkov and beat Nilsson from close range for his 26th of the season.
The teams were tied 1-1 after 20 minutes.
Florida scored 30 seconds into the game when Dadonov deflected a shot by Barkov.
The Senators tied the game at the 12-minute mark as White took the puck in his own end and cut through Florida’s defense, beating Luongo on the glove side.
While he didn’t pick up a point, Florida’s Brady Keeper made a significant impact in his NHL debut. The 22-year-old undrafted defenseman from the University of Maine signed with the Panthers on Monday, making him the first person from the Pimicikamak Cree Nation to make it to the NHL.
Before the game, the Senators welcomed members of First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities and held a ceremonial puck drop. Keeper was invited to take the faceoff in place of Barkov to commemorate the event.
NOTES: Ottawa center Jean-Gabriel Pageau was named as the Senators’ Masterton Trophy nominee Thursday. The award is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. … Ottawa was without Zack Smith (back) for the third straight game.
Panthers: At Boston on Saturday.
Senators: Host Toronto on Saturday.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)