OTTAWA – Chris Phillips’ first goal of the season could be his last in a Senators uniform.
The veteran defenceman scored his first of the campaign and rookie Erik Condra added his first two NHL goals Saturday as the Senators downed the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1.
Phillips, who has played all 925 games in his career with the Senators, could join the mass exodus out of Ottawa by Monday’s NHL trade deadline. An unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Phillips has said it is his preference re-sign with the Senators, but the team could ask him to waive his no-trade clause if a deal on an extension can’t be reached.
“I can’t really update you now because I don’t know what happened today,” Phillips said, referring to any offers Senators general manager Bryan Murray may have received for the defenceman.
A disappointing season in Ottawa has seen veteran forwards Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Alex Kovalev and Jarkko Ruutu dealt out of the nation’s capital as the Senators organization looks to rebuild.
“I was focused on the game but I’m sure I’ll get an update myself tonight of what talks went on, but that’s all I can say right now,” Phillips added. “It could be my last game but we’ll see what happens.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Condra—playing in just his sixth NHL game—is one of six Senators in the lineup who have spent most of the season with Binghamton of the American Hockey League.
“It was unbelievable. I didn’t know what to do (after his first goal). I was yelling at someone to get the puck and I was excited,” Condra said. “We were brothers down there in Binghamton and we all came up together. There’s a ton of us here and it’s great to see some of those guys having success and myself having success. We’re energized and we’re having fun up her.”
Nick Foligno had the other goal for the Senators and Ryan Shannon picked up two assists.
Craig Anderson made 30 saves for his third win in four starts since the Senators acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche last week.
The win was the third in four games for the Senators (21-32-9), while the Flyers (40-16-6) have dropped two of three.
Scott Hartnell had the only goal for Philadelphia, which got 25 saves from Brian Boucher.
Phillips scored on a shot from the point to give Ottawa a 3-1 lead at 11:15 of the third. The goal was Phillips’ first in 72 games.
“It’s been a while,” he said. “With everything going on, to erase a zero that’s been there all year feels pretty good.”
Following a first period in which they trailed 1-0 and were thoroughly dominated, the Senators turned the tables over the final 40 minutes, outshooting Philadelphia 27-15 the rest of the night.
“In the first period we dominated the game and we skated and were playing together,” said Flyers forward Claude Giroux, who played his junior hockey across the river from Ottawa with the Gatineau Olympiques.
“There was no issue for the first period then we just stopped playing and it cost us two points.”
Foligno outworked two Flyers in the corner on a power play before putting a shot over Boucher’s shoulder at 12:18 of the second.
Condra scored his first in the NHL at 16:10 on a great feed from Shannon off a cycle behind the Philadelphia net.
After Phillips provided some insurance, Condra closed out the scoring with a deflection on the power play at 18:35.
Hartnell gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with just 20 seconds remaining in the first period.
Notes: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson missed his eighth straight game Saturday with a sore back. Defenceman Sergei Gonchar missed his fourth game with a lower body injury. … Jason Spezza ranks second all-time in Senators’ scoring with 507 points. … The Senators are 627-593-115-90 all-time. … Forwards Ian Laperriere and Blair Betts, along with defenceman Oskars Bartulis, remain out of the Flyers lineup due to injury. Laperriere has yet to play this year with post-concussion syndrome, Betts has missed four games with a cut finger and Bartulis missed his second game with a shoulder injury. … With his goal Saturday, Hartnell is two points shy of 400 for his NHL career.