1/24/2013 – Ottawa Senators vs Florida Panthers Highlights

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SUNRISE, Fla.Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson continues his mastery of the Florida Panthers even if he doesn’t make a big deal about it.

Anderson made 25 saves, and Chris Phillips and Erik Karlsson scored as the Senators improved to 3-0 with a 3-1 victory at BB&T Center. Jason Spezza added an empty-netter with 1:15 left.

Anderson, a backup for the Panthers from 2006-07 through 2008-09, improved to 9-0-1 against his former team. He shut out Florida 4-0 Monday night at Ottawa.

“It’s good that you guys have something to write about,” Anderson said.

With two victories against the Panthers this season, the Senators have taken 11 of the past 12 meetings dating to the 2009-10 season.

Ottawa is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2007-08 when it opened with five consecutive victories.

“We know how crazy the schedule is and the way it can get,” defenseman Marc Methot said. “When we have an opportunity with those two days off coming into this game, there was no excuse with regards to winning it.”

Tomas Fleischmann scored for the injury-riddled Panthers, who have lost three in a row since opening the season with a 5-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night. Florida has scored two goals in its three losses.

Already missing regulars Kris Versteeg, Marcel Goc, Sean Bergenheim and Erik Gudbranson, the Panthers also found themselves without center Stephen Weiss after he was scratched with a lower-body injury.

Jose Theodore finished with 34 saves, including 14 in the first 11 minutes before Phillips beat him with a slap shot from the point toward the end of a second consecutive power play.

“Goaltending is a long way from any of the issues we have right now,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “(Theodore has) been very solid. That’s a real positive for us right now.”

Theodore stopped Guillaume Latendresse’s penalty shot with 9:11 left in the third period. Latendresse was hooked from behind by Brian Campbell while on a breakaway.

Latendresse, a teammate of Theodore with the Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild, tried to slip a quick backhand through the five-hole on a deke, but Theodore made a stick save.

“He’s a shooter,” Theodore said. “He kind of surprised me that he didn’t shoot the puck, but I really didn’t want him to score. It was a tight game. I thought he was going to shoot, but I was able to be patient and follow him.”

Karlsson broke the 1-1 tie at 8:28 of the second period after a wild sequence in front of the Florida net. After a loose puck bounced in front of Theodore, three players wound up on the ice before the Panthers gained possession.

Karlsson intercepted Shawn Matthias’ cross-ice pass just outside the blue line, and after waiting for a teammate to clear the zone, skated in down the left side before beating Theodore with a short-distance wrist shot to the far side.

“I tried to make a read and it worked,” Karlsson said. “It could have gone the other way too. Sometimes you’ve just got to try to follow your instincts and make a decision.”

It was the Norris Trophy winner’s second goal of the season.

“I haven’t seen too many people get from the blue line at a dead stop to the hash marks and shoot the puck in the net like that in a real long time,” Senators coach Paul MacLean said. “I thought, that’s what makes you a Norris Trophy winner: the ability to sometimes make something out of nothing.”

Fleischmann opened the scoring at 8:24 with a power-play goal. After Tomas Kopecky controlled the faceoff, Fleischmann passed the puck back to Campbell at the point. Campbell flipped it to Fleischmann, who skated in then beat Anderson with a wrist shot through the five-hole from the top of the circle.

The goal snapped Anderson’s shutout streak at 122:24. He hadn’t given up a goal since the 6:00 mark of the first period of the opener when Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien scored on a power play.

Anderson wasn’t tested often in the third period Thursday, but he came up big when he gloved Peter Mueller’s shot from the wing with 6:07 left.

“I should have just snapped a one-timer,” Mueller said. “He made a big save. He slid across just in time. You can’t knock on a goalie for making a save like that with a flash of the glove, but still it stinks.”

Seconds earlier, Jakob Silfverberg almost increased Ottawa’s lead but his wrist shot bounced off the right post.

The Senators will play at Tampa Bay on Friday night, while Florida will hold its first in-season practice.

“Our quality of good plays versus preventable plays is out of whack right now,” Dineen said. “We need to get that in balance and get our intensity up, but certainly cut down on a lot of the self-inflicted wounds.”