PHILADELPHIA – Ray Emery admitted that it was a special night – and that he was relieved when it was over.
Emery made 22 saves in his first start against his former team, and Danny Briere scored two goals to help the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
“These are fun ones to play. Definitely nerves are going,” Emery said. “It’s a little bit special, a different situation but it’s two good teams and a little personal story for myself. I’m just happy that we won.”
Blair Betts, James Van Riemsdyk and Darroll Powe also scored for the Flyers. Jeff Carter, Kimmo Timonen, and Chris Pronger each added two assists.
Mike Fisher scored for Ottawa. The Senators have lost two straight and four of their last six games.
Emery was with Ottawa for five seasons (three as a regular starter), but was cut loose after the 2007-08 season, the year after he led the Senators to the Stanley Cup finals. He played in Russia last season.
“I’ve never really played on a bad team,” said Emery, 10-3-1 this season. “With this team I know we are going to get our goals and I just have to do my part and play solid.”
Briere said that the Flyers realized that it would be a special night for Emery to face his former team for the first time.
“Definitely we’re happy for him,” Briere said. “He’s been playing well and he’s been a great teammate for us so far this year.”
Flyers coach John Stevens said that he senses that the team believes in their new goaltender.
“I really think there is a fondness or affection, and when he gets in a situation like he did tonight, I think there’s a little more urgency in their play,” Stevens said.
“Everyone’s happy to see him (Emery) back in the league,” Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said about his former teammate. “He played OK. We weren’t able to test him too much when we needed a couple of goals in the third period.”
Ottawa’s Pascal Leclaire also stopped 22 shots.
Betts, who signed as a free agent before the season and later missed seven games with a shoulder injury, scored his first goal to put Philadelphia ahead on a power play at 9:34 of the second period. He poked the puck into the net after a dump-in by Claude Giroux took a strange bounce off the boards.
Ottawa tied it on a power play at 14:49 on Mike Fisher’s one-timer off a backhand, cross-ice pass from Alex Kovalev.
Van Riemsdyk, who went into the game tied for the NHL rookie points lead, made it 2-1 on another power play at 16:23, scoring from inside the left circle.
Briere increased the lead with a spectacular rebound goal at 6:56 of the third period, batting Carter’s shot out of the air. Powe made it 4-1 with a wrist shot at 11:47, and Briere scored on a slap shot 1:52 later.
Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said that he thought the Senators “played very well” for the first 40 minutes.
“I don’t know if we can play much better on the road than that,”he added.
NOTES: The Flyers’ winning streak is their longest since they won five straight in December 2008. Philadelphia has outscored its opponents 23-7 in regulation during the streak. … Philadelphia has four shots on goal in the first period, a season low for a period. … Flyers C Briere returned after missing four games (groin and flu).