OTTAWA – Anton Volchenkov showed he’ll do whatever it takes to get the Ottawa Senators into the playoffs.
Volchenkov was all over the ice Tuesday, blocking shots and delivering some game-changing if questionable hits as the Senators beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0. In the third period, Volchenkov nailed Simon Gagne with a check from behind that took the Flyers forward out of the play and resulted a Daniel Alfredsson’s insurance goal. Volchenkov did not receive a penalty for the hit.
“What pissed me off on it was they scored a goal on it,” said Gagne. “Five minutes after what happened the referee came to me and said he didn’t see the hit. It’s over and it’s very tough to take.”
As the other Senators celebrated the goal, Volchenkov was dealing with Gagne who went after the Senators defenceman in retaliation.
Gagne was given a double minor for instigating with a visor, five for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct, while Volchenkov was assessed a minor for roughing.
“I like to play physical, but I like to play clean physical,” said Volchenkov, who also blocked five shots and had a big hit on Philadelphia’s Daniel Carcillo. “Sometimes maybe it is dirty, but it’s hockey it’s tough.”
Elliott made 26 saves, earning back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his NHL career. But even he owes Volchenkov for keeping his shutout intact.
The Flyers appeared to score late in the third during a scramble in Elliott’s crease, but a lengthy review on the play showed Volchenkov kept the puck out of the net by sweeping it off the goal-line.
“He was in the right place at the right time again tonight,” Elliott said.
The Senators, who have struggled since NHL play resumed after the Olympic break, won two games in a row for the first time in over a month.
Chris Kelly also scored for the Senators.
Brian Boucher made 24 saves for the Flyers, who are precariously holding on to a playoff spot. Philadelphia is tied with Montreal for seventh in the Eastern Conference with 79 points, four points ahead of ninth-place Atlanta.
The fifth-place Senators have 83 points.
The Senators, who ended a five-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over Montreal on Monday, came out hard and took a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Kelly came down the left side and looked like he might pass, but instead beat Boucher low glove side.
“It was a big two games for us,” said Kelly. “I thought we got a good start and obviously Elliott played great in both games and he was huge for us and his good friend Volchenkov was there for him.”
The Flyers best chance to tie the game came in the second with a two-minute two-man advantage, but they managed just one shot on Elliott.
“It was a funny game, it was frustrating,” said Philadelphia captain Mike Richards. “It seems like we have a lack of motivation, which obviously shouldn’t be there, and a lack of urgency. It’s frustrating to go through a game like that and not see everyone play their hardest.”
Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger admitted the team needs to play better if they hope to put an end to this three-game losing streak.
“We’ve got to play with a sense of desperation and outwork the other team,” said Pronger. “It wasn’t enough tonight.”
This was the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between the two teams, with the Senators winning the series 3-1.
Notes: The Senators were without D Filip Kuba (lower body, day-to-day), LW Milan Michalek (knee, indefinite). RW Shean Donovan and RW Ryan Shannon were healthy scratches. The Flyers were without C Jeff Carter (foot, end of regular season) G Ray Emery (hip, season) G Michael Leighton (ankle, season). D Lukas Krajicek and LW Riley Cote were healthy scratches.