The Senators continued their season theme of being a dangerous third period team tonight, as they entered the third period trailing the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 only to escape with a 6-4 win.
The first period opened with a Zenon Konopka-Zac Rinaldo tilt just fifteen seconds into the game. Within a minute of the fight, the Senators took a 1-0 lead after Kyle Turris drew two defenders to him and slipped a nifty pass to Daniel Alfredsson, who buried it. Former Senator Andrej Mezsaros responded less than two minutes later with a shot from the point to tie the game up 1-1.
Then, things got a little weird. After a scrum in front of the Philadelphia net, the linesman was about to drop the puck when at the last second, the play became under review. After a lengthy break, the War Room concluded that the puck had crossed the line, giving Chris Neil his 6th of the season and making the game 2-1 for Ottawa. Later in the period, Philadelphia scored two quick goals (from Marc-Andre Bourdon and Sean Couturier) in less than 30 seconds to give Philly a 3-2 lead, which they'd extend to 4-2 on a powerplay goal from Matt Read late in the second period.
However, the Senators went back to the ol' Paul MacLean playbook, decided a third-period comeback was in order, and scored four unanswered goals in the third period to win the game 6-4. First, Colin Greening threw a puck toward a streaking Jason Spezza only to have it tipped in accidentally by Matt Carle. Next, Erik Karlsson flew up the ice on a 2-on-1 and slipped one through Bryzgalov's five-hole to tie up the game. With just over a minute left in regulation, Filip Kuba's blast from the point gave the Senators a 5-4 lead, which became a 6-4 win after Nick Foligno scored an empty-netter.
Sens Zero: Matt Carkner
Carkner gave the Flyers two powerplays tonight, and both of them were completely avoidable penalties: the first was Carkner trying to get an unwilling Wayne Simmonds to fight, while the second was an elbow after Carkner got his arms up too high on a hit. The Senators struggled to create momentum during the middle of the game due to the time spent in the penalty box.
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
Despite playing 24:20 in a game where Philadelphia scored 4 goals, Karlsson was never on the ice for a goal against. He had a goal and an assist, his goal coming from a wonderful rush up ice where he pulled the ol' "I'm going to pass it, gonna pass it, gonna pass it.... JUST KIDDING! GOAL!" with a nice five-hole shot. He finished +5 on the night.
Sens Zero: Powerplay
The Ottawa Senators were only given two powerplay opportunities during the game, but they both seemed like powerplays for the Flyers. The Senators had great difficulty setting up in the Flyers' zone, and gave up countless odd man rushes.
Sens Hero: Filip Kuba
Kuba had himself a terrific night in both ends of the rink. Like his defensive pairing partner, he was not on the ice for a Flyers goal (despite being used on the penalty kill), and indeed may have saved the game with a great defensive effort to prevent Claude Giroux from scoring on a near-breakaway. Kuba was +4, had four shots on net, blocked a team high four shots, and had the game-winning goal.
Sens Hero: Chris Neil
While fellow pugilists Matt Carkner and Zenon Konopka spent 4 and 5 minutes in the box, respectively, Neil made his mark on the scoresheet by putting up a goal and an assist. His assist was on the empty net goal, which only happened because Neil created a turnover with a great hit and then flipped the puck over to Foligno.