Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was able to sum up Danny Briere
's game Saturday against the Ottawa Senators
in one word.
"Inspiring," he said. "Inspired me, I know that."
Briere capped his first hat trick of the season by scoring with 5.4 seconds left in overtime, and also had the third fight of his 779-game NHL career as the Philadelphia Flyers
rallied for a 3-2 win against the visiting Ottawa Senators
had a pair of assists, including helping to set up the game-winning goal. Voraceck dumped it behind the net to Briere, who stepped in front and jammed it under the left pad of Senators goalie Craig Anderson
"I had the feeling they were going to play casual," Briere said. "I was on the forecheck with less than 15 seconds in the period. … When Jake was able to put it behind the net, all I was thinking was try to jam it. I knew I didn't have a lot of room. I was just trying to jam it, try to get something going, and I was lucky."
It was Briere's first hat trick since he scored three against Montreal on Feb. 13, 2010.
It had been far longer since Briere's last fight – Nov. 20, 2009, when he went at it with San Jose's Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Briere and Ottawa's Kyle Turris
came together late in the second period, with both players being sent to the box for matching minors -- Briere for interference, Turris for cross-checking. Briere, however, said he felt the cross-check came when he was on the ice and was unnecessary. He let Turris know about it, and the next time both were on the ice, the gloves came off.
"I thought that was a cheap shot on his part," Briere said. "He kind of came down on a cross-check to the head when I was in a vulnerable position on the ice, scraped my face onto the ice (so) there's lot of frustration. … After that, the adrenaline … that's what happened.
"I thought that was not a fair shot, so I had to do something about that."
Added Turris: "He gave me a better shot and I gave him a shot back and we were in the penalty box. When we came out, he kind of gave me a shot and asked me to go and so at the next faceoff we kind of talked back and forth and ended up dropping the gloves."
Briere has fought three times, but in those games he has six goals. However, Briere said not to expect him to drop the gloves more often.
"I'm not planning on it, to be honest," he said. "I'll leave that to Jody (Shelley).
For Turris, it was just his second fight in his fourth NHL season. With two infrequent combatants, the fight drew more attention than the usual battles.
"It was pretty fun to see those guys fight," Ottawa center Jason Spezza
said. "Different weight class – Turris did a great job, handled himself real well."
"It was very entertaining and gave us an energy boost," added Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
Bryzgalov provided his own energy boost, stopping 35 of 37 shots, none bigger than an outstanding sliding save to deny Bobby Butler
on a 2-on-1 midway through overtime.
"He was excellent, from the start to the finish," Laviolette said of his netminder. "Certainly that (Butler) save … gave us the opportunity to get the second point. Goaltending was a factor tonight. He was terrific. It was good both ways, lots of opportunities, lots of attempts, but our guy held us in there. There were some chances against. Ottawa has a high-scoring team; we knew going into it they would generate chances. We knew we'd need good goaltending and we got it."
The only pucks that got past Bryzgalov were Milan Michalek
's 5-on-3 goal in the second and Butler's goal in the third.
Butler's goal capped an odd stretch when the Senators were whistled for consecutive bench minors for having too many men on the ice, with Butler designated to serve both penalties. When he finally came out of the box, he fought off Brayden Schenn
for the rebound of an Erik Karlsson
shot to score his fourth of the season at 6:43 of the third, giving the Senators a 2-1 lead.
"I'm not sure on the first one, but the second one, I hopped [over the boards], and [Filip Kuba
] was stuck by the boards and the puck came right to him," Spezza said, "and instinctually he just played it. Just more bad luck than anything – just one of those bounces. I don't know if I've ever seen two of them that close together. … It's kind of a weird way to get two penalties. Bobby scoring is a tribute to the penalty kill and him getting some rest in the box."
Moments later, the Flyers went on the power play and after misfiring on their first five chances, got on the board when Briere circled from behind the net and tipped a Kimmo Timonen
shot. Sens defenseman Chris Phillips
had a chance to clear it, but instead put it in his net.
"I was fortunate on that one," Briere said. "Kimmo made a great heads-up play, I was able to tip it, but got lots of help from their defenseman putting it in for me."
Briere had opened the scoring at 11:05 of the first period when he partially fanned on a chance from the left circle, but when Anderson couldn't corral the rebound, Briere was able to score.
Ottawa took advantage of back-to-back penalties on Braydon Coburn
and Matt Carle
to tie the game, as Michalek scored off the rebound of a Sergei Gonchar
shot at 11:05 of the second.
The teams will meet again Sunday in Ottawa.
"They're a real good team," Spezza said. "We felt like we could compete with them. We had some chances, the 2-on-1 at the end. The game could have been over before overtime. It was an unfortunate play at the end."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK