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Lundell scores in OT as East-leading Panthers beat Senators 3-2

Ottawa Senators goaltender Joonas Korpisalo deflects a shot during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Anton Lundell scored 1:36 into overtime and the Florida Panthers beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Tuesday night to jump over the idle Boston Bruins and into the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

“It must have been one of the coolest moments in this building (for me) for sure,” Lundell said. “Out there in overtime, I just waited for my opportunity, got the puck, saw the short side was open, so I tried to pick the corner.”

Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour also scored while Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves in the Panthers' sixth straight victory.

Thomas Chabot and Tim Stutzle scored for the Senators while Joonas Korpisalo stopped 31 shots in Ottawa's third loss in its past four games.

“They are a good hockey team and I thought we had a chance of winning it,” Senators coach Jaques Martin said. “I thought we battled hard. We just had a couple of mistakes that cost us.”

Ekblad missed Saturday's 9-2 Panthers win against the Tampa Bay Lightning with a lower-body injury, then promptly scored 19 seconds into his return to the lineup.

It was the second fastest goal to start a game by a defenceman in team history, trailing Robert Svehla's goal 14 seconds into a 3-3 tie with the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 5, 1998.

Florida extended its streak of games with two or fewer goals allowed to 11 games. Bobrovsky also extended his personal winning streak to seven games. The Panthers have won 10 of their last 11.

“It's the guys in this locker room,” Montour said of the team's success. “I don't think we're really watching the standings. We keep winning games and keep playing our hockey, our style and again, every team is going to come in and play their best hockey. As long as we keep getting better and keep growing as a group, come April, we will be a dangerous team.”

Ottawa finished the night with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, ahead of only the Columbus Blue Jackets.


Senators: Host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Panthers: Visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.



Colby Guy, The Associated Press

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