Panthers goaltender James Reimer continued his mastery of the Ottawa Senators in a 7-2 win to help Florida pull to within a point of the New Jersey Devils in the battle for the second wild-card position in the Eastern Conference at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday.
The Panthers have 80 points after 71 games. The Devils, who played the San Jose Sharks late Tuesday, have 82 points through 72 games.
Reimer made 33 saves to improve his career record against the Senators to 13-5-2.
Reimer, making his 36th start of the season, improved his record to 18-13-5. He is 5-1 in his past six starts. He has allowed three goals in his past three starts, stopping 103 of 106 shots.
Colton Sceviour, Keith Yandle, Evgenii Dadonov, Jared McCann, Frank Vatrano, Scott Bjugstad and Jamie McGinn scored for the Panthers (37-27-7), who won for the second night in a row after a 2-0 win at the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.
Patrick Sieloff, playing his second NHL game and first for the Senators, scored his second NHL goal. Marian Gaborik also scored for the Senators. Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, who played for the Panthers from 2006-09, had a rare off night against his old team. Anderson gave up four goals on 17 shots before he was pulled after McCann’s breakaway goal at 7:19 of the second period.
Anderson was 15-7-2 with a 2.24 goals against average and .930 save percentage against the Panthers going into the game.
Sceviour gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 2:36 into the game when he deflected a shot from the point by Mark Pysyk. After Sieloff tied it on a shot that caromed off the end boards and deflected in off Riemer, Yandle made it 2-1 at 15:56 of the first on a shot from the left wing off the rush.
The teams were sent to their locker rooms with 2:10 left in the first period after a pane of glass in the Senators zone came loose. Dadanov was alone at the backdoor to bury a pass from Aleksander Barkov to make it 3-1 at 2:15 and McCann scored at 7:19 on his breakaway to make it 4-1.
After Gaborik scored at 13:57, Vatrano, at 16:13 and Bjugstad, at 17:06 put the Panthers up 6-2 after two periods.