Ottawa - January 8, 2012 - Daniel Briere scored his third goal of the game and 13th goal of the season for the Philadelphia Flyers with just six seconds left in overtime. The goal gave the Flyers a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. The loss ended the Senators winning streak at four games.
In a game that was nasty and aggressive at time, with plenty of turning points, it was the smallest guy on the ice, Briere, who not only scored all of the Flyers goals but had a fight with Kyle Turris in the second period.
What else is new for the Ottawa Senators? For the 19th time this season the Senators found themselves behind at the end of the first period, trailing 1-0 on a Daniel Briere goal. The Senators record is 7-10-2 when behind at the end of the first period. For the record the Senators have only led in 10 out of 42 games this season after the first period.
This afternoon, the Flyers jumped on a sluggish Senators team, outshooting them 13-9 in the first period but outchancing them by an 8-1 margain by my count. Just like the game on Thursday night at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it looked like more of the same with the Senators getting either beaten to the puck or out muscled off the puck. Craig Anderson continued his strong play and kept the game at 1-0.
From the second period of the game on the Senators carrried the play, causing turnovers and generally taking the game to the Flyers. It was a physical game and the Senators started to become more engaged physically with the Flyers. If it wasn’t for the penalties that the Senators took, they very easily could’ve dominated this game and finished the game ahead by 2-3 goals.
Milan Michalek scored his 20th goal of the season 11:05 into the second period to tie the game at one. The Senators continued their strong play early in the third period and took the lead on Bobby Butler’s fourth of the season at the 6:43 mark. The Senators played a solid road game and if it weren’t for the penalties, they would’ve won this game.
The Senators took too many penalties in the game today, with most being bad penalties. A couple of the calls were questionable, however the Senators at times were their own worst enemy. Some of the penalties were for being over aggressive, but it was the two back to back too many men calls and the penalties for stick fouls that ended up taking some of the momentum against the Senators and eventually it led to the tying goal by Briere. Briere scored on the powerplay 9:12 into the third period to tie the score at 2-2.
In total, the Senators took nine penatlies and were shorthanded six times, with the Flyers going 1 for 6 on the powerplay. It was a very aggressive game and I liked the way the Senators stood up to the Flyers. It should be an interesting game against the Flyers tomorrow. This afternoon when the Senators started to dominate the game in both the second and third periods, it was bad penalties that took away any momentum that they had.
The Ottawa Senators had two great scoring chances in the overtime period only to have Illia Bryzgalov shut the door on the first of the two chances. On the first chance Nick Foligno out-muscled a Flyers defenseman and back-handed a pass to Bobby Butler in the slot who one-timed the pass. It look like it was going to be the game winner, only for Bryzgalov to shut the door.
Moments later Milan Michalek broke in from Bryzgalov’s right after a turnover at the Flyers blueline. Michalek was about to shoot we he lost control of the puck and didn’t get a shot off. Michalek is probably wishing he had that chance back. From that point it looked like the game would go to a shootout. The Flyers have not won a shootout this season, so the prospect of going to the shootout must’ve been quite appealing to the Senators.
It looked like the game was on its way to the shootout when the puck was thrown behind the Senators net in the last 10 seconds. Zack Smith carried the puck into the Flyers end in the last 20 seconds but didn’t get the puck deep, turning it over. The puck then came back up ice and despit a couple of chances to clear the puck, it ended up behind the net to Briere with no one watching him. Briere pulled the puck out front and slipped it between and Anderson and the post to give the Flyers the win.
- I thought the ice in Ottawa was bad lately. The ice in Philadelphia was brutal. The puck was bouncing all over the place today in Philadelphia. This was never more evident when the puck bounced off the stick of Milan Michalek in overtime.
- It will be interesting to see the game tomorrow in Ottawa with the Flyers. There was a lot of aggression in today’s game so I can only imagine that the anomosity between the two teams will be even higher tomorrow.
- Thought Chris Phillips was solid again today. We don’t always notice the “Big Rig”, but how many times has he quietly gone about his business this and battled against some of the better teams in the league.
- The Senators have not played bad on the road in the last month. Every point the Senators get is a bonus for a team that is in the thick of the playoff race and who was predicted to finish dead last in the conference.