Panthers blank Senators 4-0 to snap Ottawa's four-game winning streak

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Ottawa Senators fans went home empty-handed after the final home game of the season as the Florida Panthers beat the home team 4-0 Thursday night.

The loss snapped Ottawa’s ( 32-42-7) four-game winning streak.

Carter Verhaeghe led the Panthers (58-17-6) with a pair of goals, while Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett also scored. Spencer Knight picked up his second career shutout stopping 27 shots.

Filip Gustavsson made 26 saves for Ottawa.

With the top seed in the Eastern Conference already locked up, the Panthers rested a few of its starters including Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Claude Giroux, MacKenzie Weegar and Gustav Forsling.

Florida held a 1-0 lead to open the third, but thanks to a pair of goals scored 21 seconds apart, they led 3-0 by the two-minute mark of the third.

Bennett was able to jump on an Anthony Duclair rebound out front to make it 2-0 and moments later Eetu Luostarinen found Verhaeghe who roofed it over a sprawled Gustavsson.

Verhaeghe scored his second of the night midway through the period for his 24th of the season.

The Panthers had a great opportunity to extend their lead early in the second with a two-man advantage for 51 seconds, but they were unable to capitalize.

Florida kept coming, but Gustavsson was solid making a big save on Verhaeghe. At the other end of the ice, Knight was holding his own stopping Auston Watson on a great chance.

Bennett grabbed the puck from Drake Batherson at the goal line and passed it to Reinhart, who scored his 33rd of the season from the hashmarks to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the first.

Ottawa wraps up its season Friday against Philadelphia, while the Panthers close out the season in Montreal.

NOTES: Eugene Melnyk’s daughters Anna and Olivia were on hand to drop the puck for the home finale. Florida’s Aleksi Heponiemi, Matt Kiersted, and Cole Schwindt were all in the lineup. Anton Lundell (upper body) and Radko Gudas (lower body) missed the game as they’re nursing minor ailments.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2022.

Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press

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