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Senators edge Flyers in shootout

by Sean Farrell

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators finally broke through in the shootout, and managed to pull out a win by the slimmest of margins.

Jason Spezza scored Ottawa's first shootout goal in 13 attempts this season, and Craig Anderson stopped all three Philadelphia Flyers shooters in the Senators' 5-4 win at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday.

Clarke MacArthur and Bobby Ryan failed to score on Ottawa's first two attempts against Flyers goalie Steve Mason before Spezza, who assisted on the Senators' first two goals of the game, charged in and then stopped hard to deke Mason and stuff a shot inside the right post.

"It's been a struggle for me this year, but you stick with it, you believe, have confidence in yourself, and I was happy the coach gave me a chance to go again," said Spezza, who failed to score in his first three shootout attempts, including Ottawa's first shot in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Philadelphia's Matt Read, Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier failed to score in the shootout on Anderson, who made 25 saves prior to the breakaway competition.

Anderson jumped up and thrust his stick in the air before he was mobbed by his teammates after Couturier hit the crossbar on the Flyers' third and final attempt.

"That's where I wanted to go," Couturier said. "Just half an inch lower, I think it was in. I had him, I think."

Anderson made a glove save on Jakub Voracek's backhand at 14:22 to deny the Flyers right wing a second goal, and keep it tied at 4. With less than a minute remaining in regulation, Anderson sprawled to his right along the ice to stop a backhand by Giroux.

"He played unreal," said center Kyle Turris, who gave Ottawa its second lead at 8:21 of the third, six minutes after MacArthur scored his second of the game to tie it at 3. "He never gives up and it's frustrating in practice because he never lets us score in practice either. He battles, he always works and gives us an opportunity, and he got rewarded tonight."

The Senators won for the first time this season in five shootouts; Philadelphia fell to 1-2.

"It was a big two points for us," Anderson said. "We had some struggles all year this year with winning in the shootout, getting goals and making saves, on my end, but tonight kind of everything fell into place and I guess the stars were all lined up and we found a way to get that second point."

Kimmo Timonen drew Philadelphia even for the second time in the game at 10:58 of the third period, when he beat Anderson with a shot from the left point for his second goal.

"Going into the third period and giving up the lead, it's tough," said Mason, who made 30 saves during the game. "I thought we did a good job of coming back and tying it, but it's difficult to give up a lead. Obviously, it's not something that you want to do."

Flyers rookie Michael Raffl had two points, including his first NHL goal to open the scoring at 8:18 of the first.

Philadelphia fell behind 2-1 before regaining the lead in the second on goals 50 seconds apart by Voracek and Luke Schenn, who assisted on Raffl's goal.

"I didn't think we generated enough early on in the game but picked it up, for sure, later on," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "You know, any time you're not generating offense and shots, you're usually in your own end. A bit too much in our own end in the first half."

MacArthur, who put a shot off the left post in overtime, drew the Senators even at 3 with his second goal of the game at 2:21 of the third. Turris scored unassisted at 8:21 to put Ottawa up 4-3.

MacArthur drew the Senators even with his first goal of the game, his 10th, at 10:37 of the first. Ryan had two assists, including a backhand pass to set up Patrick Wiercioch's power-play goal, which gave Ottawa a 2-1 lead at 9:30 of the second.

Voracek drew the Flyers even at 2 with a power-play goal at 11:43 of the second. Schenn put Philadelphia ahead 3-2 at 12:33, when he blasted a one-timer over Anderson from the right boards.

Philadelphia got out to a 1-0 lead on Raffl's first goal in 18 games at 8:18 of the first. The 25-year-old left wing, who had two assists in his first 17 games, trailed Wayne Simmonds to the net and beat Anderson with a shot inside the left post.

"Obviously, it's nice to get the first goal but it would be even nicer with the win, I think," Raffl said. "It's kind of disappointing at the same time."

Ottawa has allowed the first goal in 22 of 31 games this season. The Senators are 7-11-4 in those games.

It was the last of three games between the teams this season. The Flyers won the first two games against Ottawa to secure the season series, outscoring the Senators 10-2, including a 5-0 win at Canadian Tire Centre on Nov. 12.

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