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Apr 9, 2024 10:01 pm

Panthers’ Anthony Stolarz picks up assist, shuts out Sens

Anthony Stolarz

Backup goalie Anthony Stolarz won his 15th game of the season and picked up his fourth career assist, leading the host Florida Panthers to a 2-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night in Sunrise.

Stolarz, who made 23 saves, improved to 15-7-2, including two shutouts.

The Panthers (49-24-6, 104 points) also got one goal each by Anton Lundell and Nick Cousins. Florida trails first-place Boston by three points in the Atlantic Division.

The 104 points are the second-most in Panthers history, passing the 2015-16 season (103 points). With just three games left, Florida’s franchise record of 122 points — set in 2021-22 — is out of reach.

Florida played without defensemen Aaron Ekblad (lower-body injury) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (rest). The Panthers were also without forward Carter Verhaeghe (upper-body injury), who ranks second on the team in goals (33).

The Senators (34-40-4, 72 points), who have been eliminated from playoff contention for the seventh straight season, finished the season series with an 0-3-1 record, including three shutout losses.

Ottawa got 28 saves by Joonas Korpisalo.

The game’s first seven minutes featured fights between Florida’s Jonah Gadjovich and Niko Mikkola fought Ottawa’s Zack MacEwen and Ridly Greig, respectively.

Florida opened the scoring on a power play that started with Stolarz’s outstanding stretch pass, catching Ottawa on a line change. The pass connected with Lundell, who scored on a breakaway with 7:58 left in the first.

The Panthers extended their lead to 2-0 on Cousins’ goal with 5:12 remaining in the opening period.

Florida was fortunate on the play as Mikkola tried to pass the puck to Matthew Tkachuk. However, Mikkola fanned and Cousins pounced, scoring from the slot.

The second period was noteworthy in that it featured just seven shots on goal, four by Ottawa.

There were 25 shots in the third — 15 by Florida — but no goals.

–Field Level Media

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