Sens Lose 6-2 to Flyers

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Well, the Senators had their hands full tonight.  Not only were they facing the No. 1 offence in the NHL, they were facing the No. 1 TEAM in the  NHL.  The Flyers were even welcoming back one of their best defenceman in Chris Pronger (The Flyers only went 9-4 without him in the lineup).  This one definitely looked like a David vs Goliath matchup. 

And it didn’t start well at all.  2:03 into the first, newly named All-Star Danny Briere slapped one over the shoulder of Brian Elliott and it was 1-0 Flyers.  Then, Braydon Coburn took a shot from the point that was deflected by Mike Richards through Elliott’s pads and just like that, it was 2-0.  Clouston immediately called a timeout to calm his team down, but at that point, most Sens fans had already turned the channel.  For the remainder of the period, the Senators spent their time fending off the Flyer attack and creating some weak opportunities on the Philadelphia goal.

The Sens would start to generate better chances in the second and even received a 5 on 3 powerplay.  While on that powerplay, they were unable to gain the offensive zone as the Flyers constantly intercepted passes and sent the puck down the ice.   When they eventually entered the Flyer zone, the Sens were able to pressure goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and came close to scoring, only to have a goal called off due to a Nick Foligno high-stick pass.  Then on their own 5 on 3, the Flyers extended their lead when Mike Richards shot the puck from a bad angle, fooling Brian Elliott and making it 3-0.  But before the 2nd penalty was over, Milan Michalek went in on a shorthanded breakaway and beat Bobrovsky short-side to close it to within 1.  It would be Michalek’s 3rd shorthanded goal of the season, tying him for the NHL lead in that category.  The Senators would then make the Flyers pay for their sloppyness as with 46 seconds left in the period, Nick Foligno found a puck in the crease and slid it in to make it 3-2 going into the third.  After being the better team in the 2nd and not having any puck luck, the Sens battled back to make it a game.

The Sens would continue to press without any luck until the Flyers applied the backbreaker.  Filip Kuba would be taken into the corner and stripped of the puck by Ville Leino.  It would eventually make its way to the front of the net where Scott Hartnell was waiting and the Flyers were up 4-2.  This seemed to take the wind out of the Sens sails as James Van Riemsdyk would later pot a rebound of a Mike Richards shot and the Flyers were once again up by 3. 

Things would start to get ugly after that.  During some Senator offensive pressure, Claude Giroux would elbow Jesse Winchester unnecessarily, causing Chris Neil to jump on top of him.  This would cause everyone to pair off, with Jesse Winchester vs Jeff Carter becoming the featured bout.  Once they decided who would go to the sin bin, play resumed and the Flyers decided to add some more.  Andrej Meszaros would catch Brian Elliott napping and shoot it into an empty cage to put the Flyers up 6-2.  That would end Brian Elliott’s night, with Mike Brodeur coming in to relieve. 

Carter vs Winchester

Then, it REALLY got ugly.  First, Jody Shelley refused to fight Matt Carkner.  Then, Claude Giroux showed some honour and fought Nick Foligno so that the Sens could feel “redeemed.”  Finally, with about 4 minutes left, all hell broke loose.  The cameras had trouble keeping up with all the action as Jody Shelley took on Chris Neil for “going after” Claude Giroux,  Matt Carkner forced Sean O’Donnell to turtle and Jarkko Ruutu gave Scott Hartnell a good go.  Shelley, Neil, Carkner & O’Donnell were all given misconducts as the rest of the game was played in peace.

The Brawl

The Sens may have been outclassed in this contest but at least they showed some emotion.  While it may be too late to help them get into the playoffs, a full out brawl like this can really bring the team together and install new found hope.  No doubt there will be tons of spirited talk on the plane ride home.

I would be surprised to see Brian Elliott start tomorrow night.  10 straight losses and shaky play shouldn’t be rewarded.  I’ll also predict that Peter Regin returns to the lineup and Filip Kuba goes to the press box.  Kuba’s play has been weak at best and the Senators need defencemen that make smart choices and are strong on the puck.  He’s not.

Cory Clouston

Chris Kelly

Video of Nick Foligno and Milan Michalek


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