MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and Spencer Knight stopped 27 shots for his second career shutout as the Florida Panthers beat the Ottawa Senators 4-0 on Thursday night.
Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett also scored for Florida, which halted Ottawa’s four-game winning streak.
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Filip Gustavsson made 26 saves for Ottawa.
With the top seed in the Eastern Conference locked up, the Panthers rested a few of their starters, including Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Claude Giroux, MacKenzie Weegar and Gustav Forsling.
Florida held a 1-0 lead to open the third and scored two goals in a 21-second span in the opening minutes of the third period.
Bennett controlled an Anthony Duclair rebound out front to make it 2-0, and moments later Eetu Luostarinen found Verhaeghe, who scored over a sprawled Gustavsson.
Verhaeghe scored his second of the game midway through the period for his 24th of the season.
The Panthers had a great opportunity to extend their lead early in the second with a two-man advantage for 51 seconds, but were unable to capitalize.
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Florida kept coming, but Gustavsson was solid, making a big save on Verhaeghe. At the other end of the ice, Knight was holding his own, stopping Auston Watson on a great chance.
Bennett grabbed the puck from Drake Batherson at the goal line and passed it to Reinhart, who scored his 33rd of the season from the hashmarks to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the first.
NOTES: Eugene Melnyk’s daughters Anna and Olivia were on hand to drop the puck for the home finale. Florida’s Aleksi Heponiemi, Matt Kiersted, and Cole Schwindt were all in the lineup. Anton Lundell (upper body) and Radko Gudas (lower body) missed the game while nursing minor ailments.
Florida: At Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
Ottawa: At Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.
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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)