Leopold, Kulikov score to lead Florida over Ottawa
Kulikov, who assisted on Leopold’s goal, restored the Panthers’ one-goal lead when he scored 13:48 into the second on Florida’s first shot against Mike Brodeur(notes), who replaced Elliott moments earlier.
“It feels good for the back end,” Leopold said. “Any way we can score goals and be able to contribute, it’s big. I think everybody did a good job. Well done, all the way around.”
Ottawa came close to scoring on a goalmouth scramble with 17.3 seconds remaining but the referee ruled the puck hadn’t crossed the line.
“Overall, I would have wished for a little better but we had a strong push at the end,” Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson(notes) said. “I thought we had the goal, obviously, and we didn’t get the call.”
Kovalev, who signed a two-year, $10-million deal with the Senators on July 6, began the scoring play with a pass to Mike Fisher(notes). Cheechoo drew an assist when he got a touch on Fisher’s centering feed as Phillips put the puck past Tomas Vokoun(notes) to tie it at 1.
“Kovalev made some really nice plays,” Alfredsson said. “You can tell he’s going to be valuable, especially on the power play, he draws a lot of attention. Jonathan had a couple of looks in the slot there on the power play but he didn’t get a lot of chances because we couldn’t really establish our cycling game.”
Elliott stopped 10 of 11 shots. Brodeur took over 12:53 into second and made nine saves.
Michalek, who arrived in Ottawa on Tuesday, skated earlier in the day with other members of the Senators who did not face the Panthers.