The Florida Panthers defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-3 on Monday to end a two-game losing streak, but lost forward Vincent Trocheck, who was taken off the ice on a stretcher after sustaining what appeared to be a serious right leg injury late in the first period at Canadian Tire Centre.
Trocheck went into the end boards in the Ottawa zone while killing a Panthers penalty and collided with Senators forward Ryan Dzingel. Trocheck went down with his right leg folding underneath him.
The Panthers got goals from Troy Brouwer, Aleksander Barkov, Jared McCann, Evgenii Dadonov, Micheal Haley, who was playing his first game of the season, and Frank Vatrano. Juho Lammikko had three assists. James Reimer, making his first start in four games, made XX saves to improve his record to 3-4-1. The Panthers are 2-2 on their six-game road trip.
The teams were sent to the dressing rooms with 3:37 left in the first period after there was a medical emergency in the crowd in involving a fan in the lower bowl.
Panthers coach Bob Boughner, looking for a heavier presence in the offensive zone, put Haley and Dryden Hunt into the lineup for the first time this season and it paid immediate dividends.
Haley’s strong work on the forecheck resulted in a turnover that led to Brouwer’s goal to tie the game 1-1 at 4:44 of the first period. Haley played his first game after a conditioning stint in the minors. He started the season in a league and NHL Players Association sponsored assistance program.
“It’s great to have Haley back,” Boughner said before the game. “We haven’t had him. We’ve missed him. He’s part of our identity. With Hunt and Haley, I think we have a little more sandpaper in our lineup, a little more grit.”
After Barkov and McCann, on a setup from Hunt, made it 3-1, Dadonov scored with just 3/10ths of a second left in the first period to make it 4-1.
The Senators rallied with goals by Duchene, with his second of the night at 1:32 of the second period after a turnover by Reimer and rookie Drake Batherson picked up his fifth point in the first three games of his career to make it 4-3 on the power play at 4:39.
But Haley scored his first of the season at 8:49 of the second period to make it 5-3 on a one-timer from just outside the crease on a pass from behind the net by Lammikko. Vatrano scored his sixth of the season at 16:29 of the second period, finishing off a beautiful backhand pass by Lammikko on an odd-man break.
The Panthers road trip continues Wednesday in Tampa against the Lightning.