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Ottawa Senators' Chris Neil (25) is congratulated by teammates Jason Spezza (19) Sergei Gonchar (55) and Daniel Alfredsson (11) after scoring during first period NHL hockey action against the Florida Panthers in Ottawa Thursday December 22, 2011. (FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Ottawa Senators' Chris Neil (25) is congratulated by teammates Jason Spezza (19) Sergei Gonchar (55) and Daniel Alfredsson (11) after scoring during first period NHL hockey action against the Florida Panthers in Ottawa Thursday December 22, 2011. (FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Senators edge Panthers in OT Add to ...

Bobby Butler scored 2:02 into overtime Thursday night as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3.

Daniel Alfredsson scored and added two assists for the Senators (17-14-4), while Erik Karlsson and Chris Neil both had a goal and an assist. Craig Anderson had a 32-save performance for Ottawa's third straight win.

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Tomas Kopecky scored with just over a minute left in the third period to force overtime for the Panthers (18-11-6), who have now lost two straight games. Michal Repik and Shawn Matthias also scored. Scott Clemmensen turned aside 21 shots in the loss.

The goals came in quick fashion in the third as Karlsson scored just 38 seconds after Matthias had tied the game at 2-2 for the Panthers. That goal came just a minute and 27 seconds after Alfredsson scored a power-play goal to give the Senators the lead.

The reason the teams were tied heading into the final period had as much to do with Erik Condra as it did with the goal scorers.

Late in the second period, as he battled at the side of the Senators' net, Condra had good timing as he turned just in time to see the puck sliding toward the goal line behind Anderson.

Condra managed to swipe the puck away as it was less than a puck's length away from giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

Earlier in the period, Repik tied the game for the Panthers as Ottawa's Butler sat in the penalty box in place of Nick Foligno who was in the dressing room serving a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging.

Foligno turned his back to Keaton Ellerby and left his feet to hit the defenceman as he was coming around the net. Ellerby returned to the game after about a six-minute absence.

Neil opened the scoring early in the first period on a Senators' power play as he tipped a point shot from Karlsson down and past Clemmensen.

The Panthers played most of the game without the services of Stephen Weiss who left the game early in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. The centre had only 3:03 of ice time before leaving.

Both teams play their final pre-Christmas games Friday as the Senators are in Carolina to face the Hurricanes while the Panthers play the Bruins in Boston.

Notes: Jesse Winchester missed his first game and Milan Michalek his fourth for the Senators because of concussions. Peter Regin was also out of the lineup with a bad shoulder he hurt in Ottawa's last game...Chris Neil's assist Tuesday made him the 16th player in Senators' history to record 100 assists...the Panthers were without four forwards for Thursday's game as Scottie Upshall missed his 20th consecutive game with a hip injury while Marcel Goc and Jack Skille missed their 18th and third games respectively with upper-body injuries. Sean Bergenheim missed his second game with a lower-body ailment...Matthias had his 50th career point with a second-period assist Thursday.

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