WHY THE SENATORS WON
They were inexplicably more motivated than the Flyers. Philadelphia had a wonderful opportunity step closer to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over the bottom-feeding Senators. Instead, it gave up two goals in just over a minute late in the second to fall behind 3-2 and didn’t recover. The Senators, meanwhile, jumped ahead of the New York Islanders to 26th in the league. The math doesn’t allow Ottawa to climb any higher.
Jason Spezza, Senators
He had a heckuva night for the home team, picking up assists on Ottawa’s first three goals and scoring the fourth himself. The goal made him the first — and probably last — Senator to hit the 20-goal mark this season. Milan Michalek is the only other player within shouting distance (18).
With special teams like this, one wonders how far the Flyers will go. They’re worse than the Senators on both the power play and penalty kill, despite racking up 31 more points in the standings. The kill was particularly horrible Tuesday, allowing three goals on five opportunities. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky couldn’t come up with big saves when his team collapsed, either.
The rally at the end of the second. The Senators might be the only team worse than the Flyers at coming back when trailing after two (they’ve combined for just two victories in 52 attempts), so jumping ahead prior to the intermission was huge. Ryan Shannon scored the first with a point shot that navigated through traffic in front, and Bobby Butler put the Senators ahead with a nice breakaway deke.
- 1-4-1: Flyers’ record in their last six games.
- 27: Saves for winning goalie Craig Anderson.
- 2: Assists for Filip Kuba, who bounced back from his worst game of the season.
- 2: Goals for Mike Richards in a losing cause.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
The hated Toronto Maple Leafs officially bowing out of the playoff race. While the Senators were continuing their nice run to close out the season, the Leafs were fighting for their lives at home against the Washington Capitals. By the time the Buds lost 3-2 in a shootout, it was already over for them. The Buffalo Sabres won 4-2 over the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier in the night, killing all hope of an unlikely miracle for Brian Burke’s boys.
QUEST FOR 20
Spezza’s 20th goal capped a spectacular night for the Senators, but also spoke volumes about the Senators’ scoring woes this season. The picture was made worse by the fact Philadelphia was in town. The Flyers have seven (!) 20-goal men: Kris Versteeg (20), Scott Hartnell (21), James van Riemsdyk (21), Mike Richards (23), Claude Giroux (25), Danny Briere (32) and Jeff Carter (36).