If the Philadelphia Flyers don't finish first in the Eastern Conference, they'll have the Ottawa Senators to blame.
Jason Spezza scored once and set up three more goals as the Senators beat the slumping Flyers 5-2 on Tuesday night, handing Philadelphia its seventh consecutive loss at Scotiabank Place.
"I think this is going to be one of the games that guys think about over the summer," Ottawa forward Ryan Shannon said. "They're going to be a good playoff team and showing that we can hang with a team like that is a good feeling."
The 2010 Stanley Cup finalists led the East for much of the season, but fell two points behind Washington after their fourth consecutive loss. The Flyers gave up three power-play goals -- and their late-season slump has become a cause for concern.
"It's not good enough at all, by any stretch," coach Peter Laviolette said.
Added forward Claude Giroux: "It was a big game for us and pretty much the whole team came out flat and didn't really help our goalie. We've got two games left and I don't think you can turn on a switch when playoffs come, so I think the next two games are going to be huge.
"If we play like that in the playoffs, we'll be in trouble."
Ottawa fell out of the playoff race due to a midseason slump. But the Senators have been a much-improved team during the last six weeks, and the win was their fourth in five home games. They've climbed out of the cellar in the Eastern Conference.
"They're probably the best team in the East and it's a big challenge for us," Spezza said. "I think the game probably means more to us than it does to them and these are important games for us to gain confidence. I think we accomplished that tonight and it feels good to get the win."
Mike Richards gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead when he beat Craig Anderson for a power-play goal at 15:56 of the second period. But the Senators grabbed control of the game when Shannon beat Sergei Bobrovsky during a power-play at 18:42 and Butler scored on a breakaway at 19:46.
Spezza added an insurance goal at 8:02 of the third period, and Milan Michalek added an empty-netter.
Scotiabank Place has not been kind to the Flyers -- they haven't won there Nov. 24, 2007.
"We know the team we've got in here is a good team, we're not worried about that," forward Kris Versteeg said. "We've just got to find ways to win and change that Friday (at Buffalo) and get on to a roll and make good plays, plays we know we can make, going into the playoffs."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report.