The Sens remain two points back of the Penguins, Red Wings and Bruins. All four clubs have three games remaining.
With Ottawa’s loss, the Washington Capitals have clinched a berth in the playoffs.
Joffrey Lupul opened the scoring at 3:10 of the first.
After Erik Karlsson scored his 21st of the season to tie it 1-1, James van Riemsdyk gave Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Karlsson becomes the first Senators defenseman in franchise history to record 21 goals in a single season. With his assist on the goal, Kyle Turris established a new career high for points in a season (59).
Mark Stone netted his 22nd of the season 1:09 into the third to force overtime.
#Sens coach Dave Cameron: "We're clawed, we're clawed. We're still alive."
The Ottawa Senators earned a desperately needed 4-3 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals on Saturday and defenseman Erik Karlsson played a big role in that win by logging 27:43 minutes of ice time and contributing two assists.
The first of those points also served as the 300th of Karlsson’s career after just 393 games:
He reached that mark faster than any defenseman since Sergei Zubov when he recorded his 300th point in his 354th game on Jan. 11, 1998, per the NHL’s Communications Department. Karlsson also became the second fastest Swedish blueliner to ever reach that milestone behind Borje Salming, who did it in 388 contests.
Karlsson has been leading the charge of what has become an impressive generation of Swedish offensive defensemen. Along with Karlsson, Sweden’s batch of 24-years-old or younger blueliners includes Oliver Ekman-Larsson, rookie John Klingberg, and Victor Hedman. After years of struggles the 2011 fourth overall pick, Adam Larsson, also seems to be finding his way.
Of course rather than milestones, it seems safe to say that Karlsson’s primary focus right now is on the Wild Card race. The Senators recent surge has kept them in the running, but with just four games left on their schedule they’re still three points behind in the battle for a postseason berth. Ottawa will play Toronto tonight.
“Nobody really gives those kids any credit,” said Jagr of the young team in Florida. “How young they are, they’re so talented. They’re going to surprise the league in two years. They might win the cup the way and they’re going to get better and better. They don’t even have to do anything and they’re going to get better.”
Jussi Jokinen and Dave Bolland had the other Panthers goals while Dan Ellis made 25 saves for the win.
Florida has points in three straight games and five of their last six.
Senators captain Erik Karlsson scored his 20th of the season and Jean-Gabriel Pageau had the other for Ottawa. The Sens have lost three straight for the first time since Feb. 3-7.
Craig Anderson made his second straight start and made 33 saves in the loss.
Despite the notoriety Hamburglar-inspired burger tossing has received — see: Lazar, Curtis and Roenick, Jeremy — the Ottawa Senators are ready to shut it down.
“We will continue to abide by both our own and the NHL’s policy to work in the best interests of the safety of our fans and the players — which does not permit items being thrown on the ice during play,” Sens director of communications Brian Morris told the Ottawa Citizen. “There will be zero tolerance for any items thrown onto the ice during play.”
As you’ve probably heard and/or seen by now, Sens fans have taken to chucking quite a large number of McDonald’s hamburgers during Andrew “the Hamburglar” Hammond’s improbable hot streak, during which he’s gone 14-0-1 with a 1.67 GAA and .946 save percentage.
That run of tremendous play has vaulted Ottawa into the final wild card position in the Eastern Conference, which in turn has fired up fans. The Sens missed the playoffs last year and, in mid-February, looked as though they would miss again; Ottawa was nine points back of Boston on Feb. 14, which is around the time Hammond took over the crease and went on his remarkable streak.
The Sens have five home games remaining this season and while they’re probably keen to keep the raucous fan support going, they’re also keen on keeping the playing surface free of ketchup and pickles.
“We are treating this seriously enough that we had Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot tape a bilingual message after practice today that will play in tomorrow’s game,” Morris said. “The message will support the above asking fans not to toss anything on the ice during the game.”