Florida Panthers vs. Ottawa Senators Recap: 04/09/2024

Florida Panthers congratulate Stolarz after his shutout. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

After a difficult and divisive final road trip, the Panthers returned home for their final four games. Starting off against Ottawa for the fourth time this season, the Cats looked to sweep the series and were coming off a 5-0 shutout from their last meeting. Even though Ekblad and Verhaeghe are still out injured, Florida’s lines are starting to click and create great chemistry leading up to the playoffs. The disparity in penalty calls has led to extra time on ice for the PK, which has continued to be one of the best parts of the Panthers’ game, along with stout goaltending. More discipline will be needed to keep the Cats out of the penalty box for the playoffs. Two quick goals in the first period were all that Florida needed to walk away with 2-0 shutout win.

Penalty Kill Stays Strong:

As of late, the Panthers have taken more penalties than they’ve drawn leading to extra time for the Penalty Kill. Tuesday night’s game against the Senators was a welcome change of pace that the Cats drew two more penalties than got called on them. However, Ottawa still got three power plays, but the PK only allowed 1 SOG during the three PPs. Luostarinen has been a key part of the top PK Unit, and he was all over the ice, blocking shots, clearing the zone, and sending the puck ahead for others to get a short-handed chance. Barkov and Reinhart also had more than one short-handed opportunity during the PK, and while they didn’t convert, they did put pressure on Ottawa in their zone.

Stolarz Shutout:

The goalie tandem has been very strong for Florida this season. Bobrovsky got the start in Ottawa last week and got the shutout, Tuesday night it was Stolarz’s turn in the net. His large frame frustrated the Senators as his 6’6 body covered a lot more of the net than Bob did. He stopped all 25 shots that got through the defense and made a couple of goal-robbing saves, including one that he was able to trap underneath his body. The majority of Ottawa’s shots came from the left faceoff circle, with only two shots coming from the right side, a handful came from farther back close to the blue line, and five shots came from just to the right of the net. The Cats only allowed two shots in the slot. Stolarz even got in on the offensive action as during the first Florida power play, he saw that the Senators were going for a unit chance and did a stretch pass down to Lundell, who then scored the opening goal of the game. That notched Stolarz, the only assist and a point for his stats.

Discipline is Necessary:

Anyone who’s watched a Panthers game knows that they are a reactionary bunch. This team sticks up for each other, which is great until it isn’t, as that reactionary nature leads to a lot of penalties that could be avoided. The 1st period alone had two separate 5 minute majors handed out for fighting plus an interference penalty, and a tripping penalty. While the fighting penalties went to both teams, that’s still extra penalty minutes that the Panthers don’t always need to take, especially when, more often than not, calls don’t go their way. The Cats cleaned things up after the 1st period and only took one more penalty in the 3rd period for high sticking. Looking back to the games last week the Cats took multiple unsportsmanlike conduct, delay of game, and roughing penalties, all of which could be avoided with more discipline from the team. There may be more that gets let go during the playoffs but the Panthers shouldn’t try to rely on that, skating cleaner with the uptick in 5v5 scoring that the team has generated will put them in a much better position to win games and go on a deep playoff run.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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