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Senators 5, Flyers 4: Philadelphia battles back, but drops second in a row


NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers, hit early with the injury bug, headed back out on the road, squaring off against the Senators in Ottawa. Coming off a tough loss at home against Anaheim on Tuesday, the Flyers looked to stay composed, shore up their weak spots, and get back on track.

It was quite the matchup, if I do say so myself. So let’s get right into it.

The Honey Bees, back intact, got the start tonight, and immediately got things rolling in the Senators’ zone. Their momentum was short lived, as Brandon Manning took a slashing penalty just under a minute into the game. So the Flyers went on the penalty kill early.

After killing off 14 of their last 16 penalties, the Flyers couldn’t hold onto that trend. After a near clear, Phaneuf was able to keep the puck onside, and send it in on a screened Neuvirth. And the Senators picked up the 1-0 lead.

From there the game swung into a real run and gun, but with the Flyers holding an edge in possession. Barring a few slip ups, they were able to move through the neutral zone with relative ease-- a trouble area when facing this Ottawa team-- and were able to generate some quality scoring chances, keeping Anderson on his toes.

But Neuvirth faced some challenges of his own, as he hit some sustained pressure at about the eight minute mark, received some relief, and then promptly had to face a Dzingel breakaway. Neuvirth handled this with ease, but couldn’t stop the shot by Borowiecki, deflected off Sanheim. And the Senators extended their lead to two.

What? What was that? The game’s still happening? I totally didn’t stop watching, or leave the room to scream into the void.

The Flyers hit their first power play with 8:04 to go. They’re gonna do something good, right? They spent the first half of the power play with the puck in the Senators’ zone, and were able to generate some very near chances. Which would be good, if they didn’t allow for a Karlsson breakaway, a positioning breakdown, and a shorthanded goal for Pageau. Because of course.

The Flyers needed to come up big at the end of the first period. They had the chance to, getting another power play opportunity with 2:31 to go. But in keeping with the trend, some pressure was brought, but no goal came with it. Had a shot by Couturier gotten a bit more elevation, he had some open net to work with, but no luck. And the puck was cleared to close out the power play.

With a chance by Leier— who skated in on Anderson with speed— blocked, the period expired.

AFTER ONE: Senators 3, Flyers 0, Maddie sadness.

Forty minutes to go. Can they turn things around? Let’s find out.

The Flyers started the second strong on the possession play. With the first line bringing pressure deep in the offensive zone, generating a handful of shots before Anderson was able to smother the puck.

The game opened up a bit from there, with both teams bringing pressure and some dangerous shots, but neither could seem to capitalize. The Senators’ defense in the neutral zone gave the Flyers a bit of trouble, but their own defense also held steady. With some more pressure and some chipping along the boards, we crossed the ten minute mark with no further scoring.

But this would change! With just over five minutes to go, the Flyers would start an odd man rush into the offensive zone, bring the pick in on and past the net, but Voracek was able to bank it in off a Senator in front to open up scoring for the Flyers, and pick up his first goal of the season, in the process.

And we’re not done! A mere minute later Konecny, set up by Gudas, would break back into the Senators’ zone with speed for an easy goal to make it 3-2.

More scoring would follow, but scoring of the bad variety. After the TV timeout, the Senators stormed the Flyers’ defensive zone and extended their lead back to two, with a spinning backhanded shot by Stone. And Neuvirth just watched it sail past.

The Flyers kept the speed up in the last few minutes, but time ticked away with no further scoring. And off to the locker room they went.

AFTER TWO: Senators 4, Flyers 2.

And again the Honey Bees got things rolling, starting the period off deep in the Senators’ zone. Spending much of the first two minutes sustaining pressure on Anderson, they were unsuccessful in converting on those chances. After a brief clear, the Flyers got the puck back in Ottawa’s zone, and there it continued to be held. With all lines rolling, things were looking up.

The Senators didn’t get even a relatively extended period of time in the Flyers’ zone until well over six minutes into the period, and they chance was quickly neutralized.

Going without a shot for a few minutes, the Flyers got the puck back in Ottawa’s zone, to bring some pressure. Attempting to clear, Weal made a solid play to keep the puck onside, keeping the play alive. Brandon Manning would send the puck in on a screened Anderson, and we had another goal! ... right…?

Apparently not. After what felt like an hour of reviewing, the officials decided that Weal had interfered with Anderson, and the goal was called back.

Things continued to go wrong, as shortly after the reversed goal, play would break down again and Pyatt would be allowed a breakaway and another easy goal.

And that thing the Flyers said about keeping their composure? With penalties on Gudas, followed shortly thereafter by one on Voracek, you could see the game starting to spin out.

But on the ensuing four-on-four the Flyers regrouped and were able to get something going. On a really smart play, Konecny was able to find Provorov cross ice, who drove it home. The Flyers were back within two, able to kill off the last of the Senators’ power play, and desperate to keep rolling.

With 2:10 to go, the Sens iced the puck, giving the Flyers an offensive zone draw and a chance to pull Neuvirth. Deep in the zone, the Flyers brought speed and pressure, and were rewarded with a Couturier goal.

The Flyers kept rolling after, and very nearly had a chance to tie, had the officials ruled in their favor. With just a minute to go, they kept in it, brought still more pressure, but to no avail. And they dropped their second game in a raw.

FINAL: Senators 5, Flyers 4