Panthers salvage win on road trip
Olesz scores twice in 3-0 win to hand Senators 3rd loss in row
Things just seem to be going from bad to worse for the Ottawa Senators these days.
After a 3-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, the Senators find themselves mired in one of their worst slumps of the season and face a five-game road trip.
In addition the Senators lost two more players to injury.
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves, nobody's going to," said Senators' coach Cory Clouston. "We've got to keep working hard and I thought our guys battled and obviously we're missing some offence, but we've got to somehow find it. It's not the way you want to go on a long road trip that's for sure."
The Panthers came into Ottawa desperate for a win after losing the first two games of their three-game road trip.
"It was critical," said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer. "We couldn't go zero for the trip. It would have put us in a tough spot and it would have been tougher mentally."
Rostislav Olesz scored twice to lead the Panthers. Nathan Horton also scored for Florida, while Tomas Vokoun was solid stopping 24 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.
"We knew they were missing key people," said Vokoun. "We knew we had to take advantage and I think we did."
Losing skid at 3 games
They did it against a Senators team that has lost three games in a row and is heading out for a five-game road trip.
The first period seemed to be a struggle for both teams.
Despite two early power-play opportunities the Panthers managed just two shots on goal. The Senators weren't much better as they had one shot on goal on their first power play and failed to get a shot on Vokoun in the second.
The Panthers managed to end the period with a 1-0 lead after Horton picked up a big rebound and beat Brian Elliott high, glove side.
Things didn't get much better in the second as Elliott allowed two bad goals, reinforcing Ottawa's goaltending woes.
The Senators lost Jesse Winchester with what appears to be an injury to his right knee after a collision with Keith Ballard. Winchester fell awkwardly and was in severe pain afterwards. He injured the same knee in training camp this season.
Filip Kuba left early in the third period with an upper-body injury and didn't return.
"It's pouring [injuries]," said Ottawa's Mike Fisher. "There's nothing you can do about it. It's going to force us to really become a team and see what we have within our group and I'm confident we can rally around it."