OTTAWA – From a young age, hockey players are taught that putting the puck on net is never a bad idea.
That philosophy worked for the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.
Filip Kuba scored the game-winner with 1:11 to go in regulation as the Senators staged another dramatic comeback to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-4.
Kuba’s shot from the point found its way through a crowd and past Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov with the two teams primed for overtime.
“We were getting open at the (blue-line) in the third and Erik Condra made a good pass to me off the boards, I just dragged it into the middle and tried to get it on net,” Kuba said of the winning goal.
“I guess there was good traffic there and it went in. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Neil, Erik Karlsson and Nick Foligno, into an empty net with 45 seconds left, added a goal and an assist each as Ottawa fought back from a two-goal, third-period deficit.
Colin Greening had the other goal for the Senators (22-15-6), who have made a habit of falling behind early only to stage late rallies this season.
Matt Read had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (24-12-4), while Sean Couturier, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Andrej Mezaros also scored.
“We’ve grown a lot as a team and I think we’re going to keep growing,” said Karlsson, whose club rebounded following a 3-2 overtime loss in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.
“We really wanted this game. We only have one game at home left this month so it was obviously important game for us to win. They’re a good team and you always want to beat the good teams. I think we battled hard and found a way to win.”
The Senators trailed 4-2 after two, but began another third-period comeback just 3:11 into the final period when Greening’s pass to Jason Spezza was deflected past Bryzgalov by Flyers defenceman Matt Carle.
Karlsson then snapped a low shot from the right faceoff circle on a 3-on-1 past Bryzgalov just three minutes later to tie the game 4-4.
“Our team, generally speaking, needed to play a better game, a smarter game, against a team that forces a lot of turnovers,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.
“With a 4-2 lead, our team needed to make better decisions. We gave up way too much (Saturday) and there are reasons why, and then we did the same thing again (Sunday).”
The teams matched three-plus periods of offence from Saturday in the first period of Sunday’s game as the opening 20 minutes ended with the Flyers up 3-2.
Alfredsson opened the scoring just 55 seconds into the game and only 39 seconds after Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo and Ottawa’s Zenon Konopka got the crowd into it with a fight in the game’s opening moments.
The Flyers responded with a goal from Meszaros at 2:32 to tie the score 1-1.
After a goal-mouth scramble and a lengthy review, Neil was given credit for a goal that gave the Senators a 2-1 edge at 8:28, but the Flyers got goals from Bourdon and Couturier just 28 seconds apart late in the period.
Read gave the Flyers a 4-2 lead with a power-play goal at 14:08 of the second period.
Notes: The Senators concluded their ninth of 16 back-to-back games this season. They are 4-4-2 in the first half of those games and 3-2-3 in the second half. The Flyers are 5-2-0 in the first game of back-to-backs this season and 3-2-1 in the second. … Peter Regin (shoulder) and Jesse Winchester (concussion) remain out of the Senators lineup. … Meszaros played is 500th career game.