Flyers top Sens 5-3 for 5th straight victory
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers remain on a roll.
Brandon Manning had a goal and two assists and Philadelphia earned its fifth consecutive victory in a 5-3 win over Ottawa on Saturday.
Claude Giroux, Ivan Provorov, Robert Hagg and Nolan Patrick also scored and Petr Mrazek made 25 saves in his second start for Philadelphia since being acquired in a trade with Detroit.
It’s been an impressive couple of months for the Flyers, who were 28th overall Dec. 3.
“I didn’t think it was going to happen,” captain Claude Giroux said. “We’re playing some good hockey right now.
“I’m not too sure what to say. Everyone bought into what we’re trying to do here and it’s a lot of fun.”
Mark Stone and the Senators have more to worry about than snapping a four-game losing streak.
With the NHL trade deadline set for 3 p.m. on Monday, Ottawa could be sporting a much different look when it hits the ice Wednesday against the Washington Capitals.
The Senators might be left to wonder if captain Erik Karlsson has played his last game in the Canadian capital.
“This isn’t an easy time for us,” Stone said. “I’m not going to shy away from that.
“You’re kind of on pins and needles because you don’t want to lose teammates and the talk around is that we are going to lose teammates. It’s the nature of the business, we understand that, but it’s difficult to keep that out of your mind.”
Karlsson, a two-time Norris Trophy winner, was once believed to be untouchable. But the smooth-skating defenseman has become one of the most talked-about players who could be on the move Monday.
“He’s been the face of the franchise for four, five years now so I think inside it’s tough for us players to hear that type of stuff,” Stone said. “It’s never easy.”
Saturday’s game was Ottawa’s last before the deadline but its first since Derick Brassard was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday
“It’s tough to say goodbye to some guys,” Ottawa’s Matt Duchene said. ”(Brassard) was a guy I’ve known for a little while and respect a lot so tough to say goodbye to him, but wish him the best.
“I know management has a plan so we’ll see what this team looks like Monday.”
Duchene, Mike Hoffman and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa. Craig Anderson stopped 34 shots, but suffered his 20th loss of the season.
Philadelphia broke open a 2-1 game with three third-period goals before Ottawa scored twice late.
The Flyers took a 3-1 lead on Giroux’s 22nd goal of the season. Manning sent Giroux in all alone and he made some great moves before beating Anderson in close.
“I saw I had a lot of time so I thought I’d have time to make an extra move,” Giroux said. “He’s a good goalie so I tried to fake him out.
“I don’t think I’ve ever tried that move before, it just kind of happened.”
Patrick made it 4-1 at the seven-minute mark as he tipped in Manning’s shot.
Less than two minutes later, Manning made it 5-1 on a fortuitous bounce. Manning looked to shoot the puck down the boards and as Anderson went to play it, the puck took a weird bounce and went in the net.
Dzingel and Duchene added late third-period goals for Ottawa.
The Senators outshot the Flyers 12-9 in the second and appeared to tie the game but had a goal called back.
Zack Smith scored at the 12-minute mark as he tapped in Hoffman’s rebound. But the Flyers challenged the play believing it was offside and upon review won the challenge.
“That could have been a big turning point in the game,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “The fact that it was turned around was a real important part of the game for us.”
The Flyers opened the scoring just 28 seconds into the game as Provorov took a pass from Giroux in the slot and beat Anderson with a quick wrist shot.
Hagg made it 2-0 at the seven-minute mark for his second of the season. Hoffman cut the lead in half with a power-play goal, beating Mrazek on a one-timer.
NOTES: Ottawa defenseman Johnny Oduya was kept out of the lineup. Newly acquired defenseman Ian Cole was unable to get to Ottawa in time for the game. ... Philadelphia defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere played his 200th NHL game. He became the third defenseman to reach the 50-point mark this season.
Philadelphia: At Montreal on Monday
Ottawa: At Washington on Tuesday
More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey