OTTAWA – The Ottawa Senators aren’t playing for their playoff lives, but they’re more than happy to play the role of spoilers.
Mike Fisher scored the shootout winner as the Senators rallied to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 Saturday.
Fisher’s goal came after the shootout went five shooters deep.
“It’s always nice to score like that,” said Fisher. “That’s a pretty good team and I thought we battled back hard.”
The Flyers had hoped to come away with two points after scoring three unanswered goals to take the lead, but the Senators showed some resilience in their first game back at Scotiabank Place after a six-game road trip.
Jason Spezza made the most of his 400th NHL career game scoring the tying goal in front of the 19,557 on hand.
“That was a nice goal by Jason to tie it back up,” said Nick Foligno who also scored for the Senators. “It got us back into it.”
Chris Kelly also scored for the Senators (34-34-10) while Alex Auld faced 34 shots.
Darroll Powe, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne scored for the Flyers (42-26-10). Antero Niittymaki stopped 35 shots.
The Flyers have not won in Ottawa since November 24, 2007.
The Senators opened the scoring on the power play midway through the first period as Foligno beat Niittymaki glove side after taking a perfect cross-crease pass from Spezza.
The goal was extra special for Foligno who had his parents on hand for the game.
“This was just the second time my dad’s seen me play live,” said Foligno. “It was an exciting game to have my parents on hand.”
Ottawa made it 2-0 early in the second period as Kelly took a pass just over centre ice and was able to catch Niittymaki moving post-to-post and beat him through the legs for his 11th of the season.
The Flyers managed to cut the lead in half as Powe, a native of the Ottawa area, scored on a penalty shot, the first of his NHL career. The 23-year-old managed to just catch the inside of the post.
“There was a little hole I could have put it in, but I just hit the post,” said Powe. “It was a good feeling to be back home and play in front of my family and friends.”
Philadelphia tied the game midway through the period as Richards scored his 30th of the season on the power play.
The Flyers took the lead for the first time just 28 seconds into the third period as Gagne was able to score on his backhand from a sharp angle between the post and a sprawled out Auld.
“We didn’t get off to the start we wanted,” said Flyers coach John Stevens. “I thought we showed a lot of poise and resilience. We found a way to get it tied and had our chances.”
The Flyers are in a solid position heading into the final week of the regular season, but are still hoping to clinch home ice for the opening round of the playoffs.
“I think at the end of the day this could end up being a pretty important point as we move forward,” said Stevens.
Jeff Carter was happy the team came out with a point, but felt things could have gone differently.
“It’s a point that we needed and two would have been nice, but I thought we played well battling back and maybe deserved a bit of a better fate,” said Carter. “But we’ll take the one point right now.”
Notes: Ottawa and Philadelphia had a number of players out with injuries. Sens RW Shean Donovan was a healthy scratch, G Pascal Leclaire (ankle, out for the season), D Alexandre Picard (knee, out for season), C Cody Bass (shoulder surgery, out for season), D Jason Smith (knee, out for season). Philadelphia was without D Derian Hatcher (knee, injured reserve), LW Riley Cote (finger, day-to-day).