OTTAWA — The hockey world has eyebrows raised, unsure what to make of the Panthers through their rampage toward the top of the standings.
The qualifier "surprising" has often been applied as they have put together the longest winning streak in the NHL in two seasons, pushed to 11 straight games with a 3-2 victory Thursday against the Senators. The streak, a franchise record, is the league's longest since the Bruins went 12-0-0 in March 2014.
The Panthers' fifth consecutive road victory also tied the franchise record for the second time this season.
Goalie Roberto Luongo ran his winning streak to a career-best nine games, also a franchise record and the longest streak in the league this season. He made 31 saves, many of them spectacular, and had to withstand a frantic final two minutes with the Ottawa goal empty for the extra attacker, but a Senators penalty with 37 seconds left helped.
The goals came from Reilly Smith, Vincent Trocheck and Aleksander Barkov, the 12th for each of the forwards.
Game highlights: Alex Ovechkin scored his 497th goal, Braden Holtby stopped 34 shots and the NHL-leading Capitals beat the host Islanders 4-1. Holtby has a 20-game unbeaten streak (18-0-2), the league's longest since Florida's Roberto Luongo had a 21-game streak in 2010-11, Elias Sports said.
Around the league: One day after being acquired in a trade with the Flyers, Vinny Lecavalier was in the lineup for the Kings against the Maple Leafs. It was his first game since Nov. 12.
First—1, Fla, R.Smith 12 (Huberdeau, Ekblad), 12:01. 2, Fla, Trocheck 12, 12:09. Penalty—Ekblad, Fla (hook), 19:16.
Second—3, Ott, McCormick 1, 5:38. Penalties—Mitchell, Fla (delay of game), :08; Karlsson, Ott (slashing), 12:54; Pirri, Fla (slashing), 13:51.
Third—4, Fla, Barkov 12 (Jagr, Huberdeau), 7:30. 5, Ott, Michalek 6 (Karlsson), 9:54. Penalties—Gudbranson, Fla (high-sticking), 4:05; Methot, Ott (interference), 12:34; Michalek, Ott (hooking), 19:22; Ott bench, served by Neil (too many men), 19:57. Shots on Goal—Fla 4-6-6—16. Ott 9-11-12—32. Power-play opportunities—Fla 0 of 4; Ott 0 of 4. Goalies—Fla, Luongo 19-11-3 (32 shots-30 saves). Ott, Anderson 16-12-4 (16-13).
First—1, Wash, Chimera 12 (Johansson), 5:45. 2, Wash, Ovechkin 22 (Alzner), 15:45. Penalties—Johansson, Was (illegal check to head minor), 8:42.
Second—3, NYI, Nelson 14 (Strome, Grabovski), 1:59. 4, Wash, Schmidt 2 (Backstrom), 15:54. Penalties—Ovechkin, Was (unsportsmanlike conduct), 4:12; Kulemin, NYI (interference), 4:12; Okposo, NYI (high-sticking), 9:52; T.Wilson, Was (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:48; Strome, NYI (slashing), 17:06.
Third—5, Wash, Backstrom 12, 17:18 (en). Penalties—None. SOG—Wash 10-14-14—38. NYI 10-14-11—35. PP opps—Wash 0 of 2; NYI 0 of 2. Goalies—Wash, Holtby 26-4-2 (35 shots-34 saves). NYI, Halak 10-7-3 (37-34).
First—1, Phila, Couturier 8 (Raffl, Schenn), 7:49. 2, Min, Scandella 5 (Niederreiter), 14:41. Penalties—Koivu, Min (tripping), 16:03.
Second—3, Phila, Del Zotto 2 (Schenn, Medvedev), 9:02. 4, Phila, White 4 (VandeVelde, Bellemare), 9:54. 5, Min, Zucker 11, 15:58. Penalties—Simmonds, Phi (roughing), 7:04; Carter, Min (roughing), 7:04.
Third—6, Min, Parise 15, 13:36. Penalties—Couturier, Phi (holding stick), 1:23; Niederreiter, Min (slash), 7:41.
OT—7, Phila, Del Zotto 3 (Voracek, Giroux), 4:23. Penalties—None. SOG—Phila 15-11-6-4—36. Min 10-6-13-5—34. PP opps—Phila 0 of 2; Min 0 of 2. Goalies—Phila, Mason 8-10-5 (34 shots-31 saves). Min, Dubnyk 17-11-4 (36-32).