Heatley and Alfredsson Lead Ottawa Over Flyers, 6-1
/ Philadelphia Flyers
(Ottawa, Ontario, January 7) – Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson each had three points in leading the Ottawa Senators over the Philadelphia Flyers at Scotiabank Place on Sunday afternoon, 6-1.
R.J. Umberger's second period goal at 3:09 cut the Senators' lead to 2-1, but Ottawa responded with three more goals before the intermission and led 5-1 after two.
Heatley scored two of those, making it a 3-1 game when he got behind defenseman Derian Hatcher for a breakaway score at 9:46.
Christoph Schubert threw the puck towards the net on a backhand and Joshua Hennessey poked it across at 14:42 to make it 4-1, for his first career NHL goal. Then, at 16:18, Heatley deflected a slap shot by defenseman Wade Redden at 16:18.
Chris Kelly scored the only goal of the third period, with a high wrist shot over Antero Niittymaki at 3:40.
"They have good players and are going to take advantage of everything you give them," said Mike Knuble. "We got the game back to 2-1 and we just can't get over that hump. As far as making that next step, we've been unable to do it."
With the loss, the Flyers fell to 3-4 on their current road trip.
"We put up a little bit of a push early on, and then I think as a group we just decided it was going to be too hard. Then, they took the game over," said John Stevens. "We put up a little push for 10 minutes, but as soon as it got tough we certainly didn't answer the challenge."
"We won three in a row but still, we're one game under .500 on this road trip. It's not cutting it," added Sami Kapanen.
Ottawa jumped ahead to a 2-0 lead in the first period.
First, Redden sent a pass through the legs of the Flyers' Alexandre Picard to Alfredsson, who tipped it in at 6:59.
Later it was Joe Corvo, who had time to set up and rip a slap shot from the high slot past Niittymaki at 16:29.
Niittymaki was making his first start in net since the first game of the road trip on December 27 in Florida. He was injured in that game and sat out the next three with a slight left hip strain, and served as the backup to Robert Esche in the team's last two contests.
Martin Gerber got his second win of the season against the Flyers, as he beat Philadelphia at the Wachovia Center on December 23 as well. He stopped 20 shots, while Niittymaki suffered the loss with 37 saves on 43 Ottawa shots.
"I thought [Niittymaki] battled right to the end there and made some big saves when the game was out of reach," said Stevens. "Maybe the guys that aren't in the fight right now need to watch some of these guys that are battling and take a lesson from it."
Halfway through the third, the Flyers' and Senators' respective tough guys were each assessed misconduct penalties. Ben Eager was given a spearing major and game misconduct, while Bran McGrattan got a 10-minute misconduct as well as a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct at 11:10.
Philadelphia has one final stop on its season-long eight game road trip, in Washington on Tuesday night (7:00 p.m., CW-57, 610 WIP). The Flyers finally return home on Thursday, January 11 when they host the Montreal Canadiens.
FLYERS NOTES Flyers trainer Jim McCrossin said before the game that Peter Forsberg did not skate before the game and will be reevaluated on Monday. … Eric Meloche was back in the lineup, as Stefan Ruzicka was a healthy scratch. … All seven goals in the game were at even strength. Ottawa was 0-for-5 on the power play while the Flyers were 0-for-2.