Karlsson, Senators beat Panthers 3-1 to open 3-0
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Erik Karlsson's nifty move was an impressive reminder of why he won the Norris Trophy last season as the NHL's best defenseman.
Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period and the Ottawa Senators won their third straight game to start the season, beating the Florida Panthers 3-1 on Thursday night.
Karlsson gave Ottawa the lead 8:28 into the second period. He intercepted Shawn Matthias' cross-ice pass in the neutral zone, skated in on the left side and wristed a right-handed shot past Jose Theodore high to the stick side.
"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."
The goal was Karlsson's second of the season.
"I tried to make a read and it worked," Karlsson said. "It could have gone the other way, too."
Chris Phillips also scored for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson made 25 saves. Jason Spezza added an empty-net goal with 1:16 remaining.
"It was one of those games where the momentum swung a few times. We were beating them on the shot clock but they were beating us on the boards," Anderson said.
Tomas Fleischmann scored and Theodore stopped 34 of 36 shots for Florida. The defending Southeast Division champions fell to 1-3.
"I think we have to be in desperation mode right now," defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "We need a win and we need one badly."
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