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Elliott's 26 saves leads Senators past Flyers

by John Kreiser

Brian Elliott's goaltending has given the Ottawa Senators a huge pick-me-up.

Elliott stopped 26 shots for his second shutout in three days and fifth of the season as the Senators blanked Philadelphia 2-0 on Thursday night. Chris Kelly and Daniel Alfredsson scored as the Senators secured their hold on fifth place in the Eastern Conference. With 83 points, they're four ahead of both the Flyers and Canadiens.

Elliott also made 29 saves Monday night in a 2-0 win at Montreal that ended Ottawa's five-game losing streak.

"He's played unbelievable the last two games and we've been able to score the first goals, too, in the last two games, which definitely helps," Alfredsson said. "We're skating much better. We're being more aggressive, not as passive as we were. Hopefully we can continue that."

Kelly scored midway through the first period. Alfredsson put the Senators up by two with his 18th goal 18 seconds into the third.

Flyers left wing Simon Gagne got 19 minutes in penalties in the wake of Alfredsson's goal when he jumped Anton Volchenkov after the Senators defenseman checked him into the boards from behind earlier in the play.

"That's a dangerous hit," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "The hits from behind are supposed to be called. (The referee) said he didn't get a look at it."

Gagne got a double minor for instigating a fight with a visor, a major for fighting, and a 10-minute misconduct.

"In my head it was dangerous," said Gagne, who acknowledged he was particularly upset the Senators scored on the play. "I was expecting a penalty on their side. It was a hit from behind. It's not part of the game and it shouldn't happen."

Volchenkov was given a roughing minor.

"I like to play physical, but I like to play clean physical," Volchenkov said. "Sometimes maybe dirty, but that's hockey."

The Senators had a chance to break the game open, but they failed to score on the ensuing seven-minute power play.

Philadelphia lost its third in a row despite a 24-save performance by Brian Boucher, who has started the Flyers' last four games after Michael Leighton went down with a high ankle sprain.

"It's got nothing to do with the referees," Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger said of the loss. "We had a 5-on-3 we could have scored on. We had a number of power plays there in the third we could have scored on. It's certainly not the referee's fault."

The Senators had an anxious wait during a lengthy video review following Elliott's stop on James van Riemsdyk 3:55 into the third period. The review ultimately upheld the referees' ruling that the puck had not crossed the goal line during a pileup in the crease earlier in the play.

"It was a little bit long," Elliott said. "That's almost a good sign when it takes a little bit longer because they don't know if it's in or not so you just try to keep your legs moving and not think about it too much."

Ottawa was 0-for-3 on the power play before Kelly opened the scoring at 10:34 of the first period. He held the puck on a 2-on-1 break with Andy Sutton and zipped a wrist shot past Boucher from inside the right side for his 14th goal.

The Flyers had a 5-on-3 power play for a full two minutes late in the second period when Sutton was called for roughing after a delayed penalty had been called against Erik Karlsson.

"It was very important," Senators coach Cory Clouston said of killing the two-man advantage. "I thought we did a real good job of keeping everything to the perimeter and we did a good job of blocking shots. They started getting frustrated, and we only gave up one or two shots in the whole 5-on-3."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

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