Senators hang on for shootout win over Flyers

The Ottawa Senators blew a 3-0, first-period lead but held on to pick up a valuable two points with a 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers.

Senators hang on for shootout win over Flyers
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA — The Ottawa Senators came into a quiet, chagrined dressing room at the end of two periods here on Saturday afternoon.

After jumping to a 3-0, first-period lead, which prompted the Wells Fargo Center crowd to turn on the Flyers, the Senators all of a sudden found themselves tied 3-3 after 40 minutes.

This wasn’t going to be as easy as it looked.

So it was time for a little soul searching.

“It’s a tough building,” said Daniel Alfredsson.

“We couldn’t do anything about the second period.

“We were still tied after two on the road. We just had to put our energy in the right spot.”

And they did, for their third straight win, which says a lot about this team heading down the stretch.

They played the Flyers even in the third period and in overtime, then Jason Spezza, who also scored in regulation, and Milan Michalek scored in the shootout to give the Senators a 4-3 win. Spezza’s was the game winner.

The victory leaves the Senators with 90 points and on the verge of clinching a playoff berth, possibly as early as this afternoon, when they’ll be on Long Island to face the Islanders. The Islanders were officially eliminated from the playoff race with Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Matt Read scored for the Flyers in the shootout.

Alfredsson and Chris Neil also scored for the Senators in regulation while Wayne Simmons, Sean Couturier, and Braydon Coburn scored for the Flyers.

Craig Anderson faced 39 shots while Sergei Bobrovsky faced 29.

The Senators bounced two of their three first-period goals in off Bobrovsky, but the Flyers evened that in the second with two oddballs.

Simmons scored not with his stick but with his nose, when it deflected a shot from Brayden Schenn. Simmons paid a bloody price and returned to the game wearing a shield.

Then, after Couturier’s goal was initially waved off, an agonizingly long review confirmed it was in before the Ottawa net was dislodged.

Anderson didn’t object. He thought it was the right call.

“I just have to hold my ground better,” he said.

It’s about the only time he didn’t.

“It’s a game of momentums, and that’s the way the playoffs are going to be,” he said.

“But we’ve got to learn how to weather them a little better and not give them the whole second period.”

Spezza thought the breaks, and the shifts in momentum, were equally distributed.

“They got a couple of lucky ones off mistakes, and we got a lucky ones in the first to get going, so it was a pretty even hockey game,” he said.

“We weren’t down but we were upset we gave up the lead, but we had to park it quick.

“Everybody’s fighting for points and games are really important at this time of year.”

GAME FILE

WHY THEY WON: Because they got big games from the players who are expected to lead: Daniel Alfredsson, Craig Anderson, and Jason Spezza.

STUD: Jason Spezza. After getting his 32nd in the first period, he almost won the game in overtime, and then did win it in the shootout.

DUD: The Ottawa power play. In a game in which the team desperately needed a goal, it was 0-for-4. Then again, the Flyers were 0-for-5.

SPEZZA GAINING: With his 32nd goal, Jason Spezza tied with his total from 2008-09 and is only two goals away from tying his personal high, 34, which he reached in 2006-07 and 2007-08. With 82 points now, he has an outside chance of matching his career-best, 92 points, set in 2007-08.

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