Flyers Come Up Small In Ottawa
OTTAWA (AP) — Chris Phillips’ first goal of the season could be his last with the Ottawa Senators.
The veteran defenseman ended a long drought, and rookie Erik Condra added his first two NHL goals in the Senators’ 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
Phillips, who has played all 925 games in his career with the Senators, could join the mass exodus out of Ottawa by Monday’s NHL trade deadline. An unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Phillips has said it is his preference re-sign with the Senators, but the team could ask him to waive his no-trade clause if a contract extension can’t be reached.
“I can’t really update you now because I don’t know what happened today,” Phillips said, referring to any offers Senators general manager Bryan Murray might have received for him.
Ottawa’s disappointing season has already led to the departure of veteran forwards Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Alex Kovalev and Jarkko Ruutu, who were dealt away as the Senators look to rebuild.
“I was focused on the game but I’m sure I’ll get an update myself of what talks went on, but that’s all I can say right now,” Phillips said. “It could be my last game, but we’ll see what happens.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Condra — playing in just his sixth NHL game — was one of six Senators in the lineup who have spent most of the season with Binghamton of the AHL.
“It was unbelievable,” Condra said. “I didn’t know what to do (after his first goal). I was yelling at someone to get the puck, and I was excited. We were brothers down there in Binghamton and we all came up together.
“There’s a ton of us here and it’s great to see some of those guys having success and myself having success. We’re energized and we’re having fun up here.”
Nick Foligno scored the other goal for the Senators, and Ryan Shannon added two assists. Craig Anderson made 30 saves for his third win in four starts since the Senators (21-32-9) acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche last week.
Scott Hartnell had the only goal for Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia (40-16-6), which got 25 saves from Brian Boucher but lost for the second time in three games.
Phillips scored his first goal in 72 games to give Ottawa a 3-1 lead at 11:15 of the third.
“It’s been a while,” he said. “With everything going on, to erase a zero that’s been there all year feels pretty good.”
Following a first period in which the Senators trailed 1-0 and were thoroughly dominated by the Flyers, Ottawa turned the tables over the final 40 minutes and outshot Philadelphia 27-15 the rest of the way.
“In the first period we dominated the game and we skated and were playing together,” Flyers forward Claude Giroux said. “There was no issue for the first period, then we just stopped playing and it cost us two points.”
Foligno outworked two Flyers in the corner on a power play before putting a shot over Boucher’s shoulder at 12:18 of the second.
Condra scored his first goal at 16:10 on a great feed from Shannon off a cycle behind the Philadelphia net.
Phillips scored on a shot from the point at 11:15 of the third to provide some insurance, and Condra made it 4-1 with a deflection on the power play at 18:35.
Hartnell gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 20 seconds remaining in the first period.
Notes: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson missed his eighth straight game because of a sore back. Defenseman Sergei Gonchar missed his fourth game due to a lower body injury. … Jason Spezza ranks second in Senators scoring with 507 points. … Hartnell is two points shy of 400 in the NHL.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)