Senators fall to Jaromir Jagr, Panthers
Florida forward scores twice, joins exclusive company yet again
Jaromir Jagr continues to play well, especially on home ice.
Jagr scored twice and Vincent Trocheck had a goal and three assists to lead the Florida Panthers to a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
The 44-year-old Jagr has scored 17 of his 23 goals at home.
"It's a little bit easier at home," Jagr said. "You've got your home fans kind of pushing you a little bit more."
Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist, and Aaron Ekblad and Jussi Jokinen also scored for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Roberto Luongo stopped 26 shots.
"Maybe people still don't realize it, but it was a big game for us," Jagr said.
Erik Karlsson and Zack Smith scored for Ottawa, which has lost five of six. Craig Anderson made 25 saves in his first start after missing four games with a knee injury.
The Panthers stretched their lead to 5-2 on Jagr's second goal as his shot from the slot got past Anderson at 4:26 of the third for his team-leading 23nd goal and 51st point of the season. Jagr became the fifth player in NHL history to have at least 50 points in 20 NHL seasons - joining Ron Francis, Gordie Howe, Ray Bourque and Mark Messier.
"It's home cooking, I guess," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said about Jagr's play. "He scored some big goals for us tonight. He's playing well."
Trocheck's shot from the slot put the Panthers ahead 6-2 and gave him his second career four-point game.
"We knew we needed to come out with a little bit extra oomph," Trocheck said.
The Panthers scored twice 14 seconds apart in the second period to break a 2-2 tie.
Ekblad gave the Panthers the lead when he took a pass from behind the net by Trocheck in the slot and swept in the puck at 9:32.
Huberdeau's unassisted goal from in front then put the Panthers up 4-2 with his 50th career goal.
"Those were big goals for us, a step in the right direction," Jokinen said.
The Senators were never in it after the two quick goals.
"It's momentum. They took it, and we didn't get it back the whole game," Anderson said.