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Flyers rout struggling Senators 7-2

by Erin Nicks
KANATA, Ont. -- The Philadelphia Flyers have known nothing but losing at Scotiabank Place in the past few years. On Tuesday night, they finally got it right.

The Flyers ended a seven-game losing streak in Canada's capital when they trounced the Senators 7-2. Matt Read had the game's first goal and added three assists, while backup goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky sparkled in his first start of the regular season, stopping 28 shots.

The Flyers improved to 4-0-1, beating the Senators for the first time in their building since Nov. 24, 2007, while Ottawa fell to 1-5-0 despite goals by Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Karlsson.

The Senators had a 20-minute closed door meeting after the game, and in his post-game comments, Paul MacLean expressed his bitter disappointment with the team’s play.

"I think we stopped playing when they got that first goal and allowed them to get three more," MacLean said. "We’re not very pleased at all with the game or with the effort. We need to have an evaluation of our team, and how we want to work, and how we want to play. Right now, we’re not doing a good job. It’s the same type of game as in Detroit and Toronto -- once they get the three goals on us, I guess the pressure’s off and we can play. We have to start playing at the start of the game."

They didn't do that on Tuesday -- Philadelphia left the Senators in a deep hole after the first period, scoring four goals on 10 shots against backup Alex Auld.

Auld was caught off-guard when Read flicked an easy wrister over his shoulder at 6:20. Wayne Simmonds took advantage of Zack Smith’s boarding penalty at 6:37 and scored the first of Philadelphia's three power-play goals at 8:00, while Claude Giroux added another off feeds from Chris Pronger and Jaromir Jagr at 16:17. Max Talbot padded the lead at the 19-minute mark with his first goal as a Flyer.

The Senators have surrendered 17 first-period goals in their first six games. Auld took the blame for allowing Read's goal and the damage it caused.

"I’m just going speak for myself," Auld said. "Obviously that first goal can’t go in. When you give up a goal like that, even though we got off to a good start, I think it set us back on our heels a bit. They kept coming, and that’s a team that’s going to wait for mistakes, whether it’s by me or someone else. They’re going to pounce on them."

Craig Anderson replaced Auld to start the second period and kept the Flyers off the board until Alfredsson fed Spezza on a give-and-go at 18:59, giving the Senators some hope going into the third period.

 "The second period, I thought we stopped moving our feet a little bit," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "We took some penalties, but we got going back in the third period again, and back to our game."

Laviolette was pleased with the play of Read, an undrafted rookie who was named the game’s first star.

"Since training camp he’s been excellent," Laviolette said. "He’s a skilled guy; he’s a smart two-way player, so we play him in a lot of different situations. He plays all different positions, and since he’s come in he’s been a really nice asset for us up front."

Anderson kept it a three-goal game before the Flyers blew it wide open in the final five minutes. James Van Riemsdyk tipped in Matt Carle's point shot for a power-play goal at 15:25. Sean Couturier, the Flyers' top draft pick last June, scored his first NHL goal 55 seconds later. Rookie Harry Zolnierczyk, called up from AHL Adirondack earlier in the day, celebrated his NHL debut by scoring the Flyers' final goal with 45 seconds to play.

Karlsson scored with 20 seconds left and now leads all NHL defensemen with eight points. But his team has allowed 14 goals in its last two home games and has yet to win in regulation.

"We have to be more accountable, figure out what our identity is and be better to a man," defenseman Chris Phillips said. "We can't go home thinking 'I had my guy and everyone else did a bad job.' We have to take a long hard look at ourselves and figure out how we can be better and how each guy can help out the team more."
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