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Flyers Fall to Ottawa, 4-3

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers


Philadelphia, PA – Simon Gagne scored a game-tying goal late in the third period but Mike Fisher's shorthanded breakaway goal was the difference as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in preseason NHL action at the Wachovia Center, 4-3.

With Philadelphia leading 2-1 entering the third period, a couple of power play goals put Ottawa ahead.

First, a slap shot from the faceoff circle by Denis Hamel at 9:17 beat goaltender Robert Esche. Petr Nedved's hooking penalty at 9:38 gave Ottawa another extended power play, and Anton Volchenkov flipped the puck on net before Chris Neil deflected it in at 11:10 to give the Senators their first lead of the game.


Gagne's tally came on the power play with 3:51 left in regulation when he fired in a loose puck after a slap shot from the point by Derian Hatcher, but Fisher's goal with 1:57 left ended up being the game-winner.
Peter Forsberg made his preseason debut for the Flyers

Ottawa was 2-for-7 on the power play while the Flyers finished 2-for-9.

Philadelphia fell to 1-2 in the preseason, while Ottawa evened its record at 2-2.

After a scoreless first period in which the teams combined for just 11 shots, the Flyers opened the scoring just 41 seconds into the second period. Joni Pitkanen's wrist shot on a give-and-go with Mike Knuble in the neutral zone found its way through the legs of goaltender Martin Gerber for his first of the preseason.

Ottawa tied it up midway through the frame when Chris Phillips' wrist shot through traffic found the back of the net above the shoulder of Esche.

Esche played the entire game and made 27 saves.

Philadelphia took the lead back with 4:33 left in the second period, when Gagne skated behind the net and backhanded the puck to a pinching Hatcher who knocked it in on the power play.

Ken Hitchcock was happy with Hatcher's play.

"Well he is just getting better and better," said Hitchcock. "He has rededicated himself, he has had a year to play and then came back in regular hockey playing mode where he hasn't sat out for 24 months."

The Senators, in the second game of four in four nights, did not dress a number of their notable players as Daniel Alfredsson, Wade Redden, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza all sat out.

Among the scratches for Philadelphia included Kyle Calder, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Nolan Baumgartner, Denis Gauthier, Freddy Meyer and Marty Murray.

The game marked the preseason debut of Peter Forsberg, who wore the captain's "C" for the first time in his impressive career.

"For a first game, for not being able to play for a little while, I thought there were some good signs," said Ken Hitchcock. "He came through healthy and I thought he got a little tired in the third period."

The Flyers continue their seven-game preseason schedule with a contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins in London, Ontario on Sunday (610 WIP).
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