Chris Neil scores twice in Senators’ 3-1 win over Flyers

OTTAWA – Chris Neil scored a pair of goals and the Ottawa Senators went on to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 in NHL exhibition play Wednesday night.

Neil had a power-play goal in the first period and added his second marker in the third before a crowd of 17,038 at Scotiabank Place. Rookie Jesse Winchester also scored for Ottawa (2-1-0) and Martin Gerber needed just 10 saves to win for the second time in the pre-season.

Darroll Powe had the lone goal for the Flyers (1-1-0).

J.S. Aubin gave up two goals on 23 shots through the opening two periods and took the loss. Maxime Ouellet made 10 saves in a period of play.

Earlier in the day, the Senators trimmed seven players from their training camp roster. Goaltender Jeff Glass, defenceman Mattias Karlsson and forwards Danny Bois, Josh Hennessy, Alexander Nikulin, Ryan Shannon and Ilya Zubov were cut.

The Flyers only had one shot in the first period and they scored on it.

Senators defenceman Brendan Bell, who’s fighting to make Ottawa’s roster, didn’t do himself any favours when he put a breakout pass right on the tape of Powe’s stick in the neutral zone and the Flyers’ prospect wired a shot past Gerber to give Philadelphia a lead just more than seven minutes in.

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The Senators directed 15 shots at Aubin through the opening 20 minutes and finally beat him when Neil shovelled in a rebound from a goal-mouth scramble on the power play at the 18:22 mark.

Winchester, who’s been given an early chance to shine in camp by taking up the right-wing position on the Senators’ top line along with centre Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, scored his first goal of the pre-season at 8:28 of the second to make it 2-1.

Once again, Gerber didn’t see much action in the second. He didn’t have to stop a shot until almost four minutes in and faced just six through the period.

After Ouellet replaced Aubin to start the third, Neil scored on a re-direction midway through the period to round out the scoring.

The Flyers left immediately after the game for London, Ont., where they face the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Ottawa plays again Friday night in Montreal against the Canadiens.