Senators lose in overtime to Flyers


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Flyers 4, Senators 3

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On another long and difficult day for the entire National Hockey League, the Ottawa Senators extended into overtime, but ultimately lost 4-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers.

A pair of weird rebounds did the Senators.

Travis Sanheim put the finishing touches on the Flyers’ victory, beating Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg in overtime after Thomas Chabot’s attempted clearance caused an odd bounce off the glass and into the slot.

The game went back and forth several times, including a wild end in the last seven minutes of regulation. Just 52 seconds after Zack Sanford gave the Senators the 3-2 lead, the Flyers’ Joel Farabee found the net on a shot that bounced off Chabot’s skate to tie again.

By regulation, Forsberg made 33 saves while the Flyers’ Martin Jones blocked 28 shots.

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“A tough rebound, I don’t know what else to say, they didn’t create anything, they just threw it in the net,” Senators coach DJ Smith said of Farabee’s goal.

It could be the last game played by either team for a while. As the Senators and Flyers waited for the puck to fall on Saturday, hits were coming across the NHL as the number of positive COVID-19 cases among players continued to rise.

As a result, a series of games have been postponed one after the other, including the game scheduled for Sunday between the Senators and the Boston Bruins at the Canadian Tire Center. The Bruins have joined the Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames, on hiatus until after Christmas, if not more.

There is uncertainty in the air for the rest of the NHL, with the possibility that the entire league will be suspended for next week. Or longer.

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That may explain the Senators’ slow start on Saturday, but they managed to come back in a game that ended in a 2-2 stalemate before the third.

After an excruciating start – they led 2-0 and allowed 13 shots before testing Jones for the first time – the Senators staged an impressive second-period rally to tie the game.

First it was Tim Stuetzle, battling a check from Rasmus Ristolainen and ripping a sharp angled shot over Jones’ shoulder. Only 1:13 later, Alex Formenton capitalized on a lazy defensive effort from Keith Yandle, stealing the puck into the neutral zone and beating Jones as the Senators were shorthanded.

While the Senators seemed unwilling to start the game, they had a good head start to start the second, coming very close to taking the lead. And just like the Senators at the end of the first, the Flyers pushed hard at the end of the second and Forsberg was keen on a late-game Flyers power play to keep the game tied 2-2 before the third. .

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“We’re all good enough players to look at each other and say we weren’t good enough,” Stuetzle said of the conversation during the first intermission.

With the NHL as a whole on the ropes after taking COVID-19 hits left and right, the Senators were naturally trying to get out of Philadelphia as healthy as they could get.

They were also looking to return from the road trip with a winning record. The trip, which began on the heels of a 4-0 victory at the Canadian Tire Center on December 12, began with an 8-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. The trip also included Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Forsberg was in the net for it all. In his previous six games before facing the Flyers, he posted a .931 save percentage.

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Against the Flyers, however, the Senators faced the added challenge of being without defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, who had recovered as Chabot’s safety valve on the club’s top defensive pair. Zaitsev is expected to be out for four weeks after suffering a heel injury against Tampa. Pressed into overtime, Chabot had played 34 minutes after three periods.

Zaitsev’s defeat is Jacob Bernard Docker’s gain. The rookie defenseman, who has patiently bided his time during the club’s resurgence in the past week, started Saturday’s game with Dillon Heatherington. While Bernard-Docker should receive an extended look at the Senators’ blue line, the organization is careful to keep expectations low.

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As for the Flyers, they are looking to find a consistent winning pace after former head coach Alain Vigneault was fired earlier this month. After a bumpy start under Mike Yeo, promoted from his assistant position, the Flyers started Saturday’s game 3-0-1 in their previous four games, including a 3-2 shootout loss. against Montreal on Friday.

Philadelphia was without goaltender Carter Hart. Hart was taken out late due to an undisclosed illness, which meant Jones made the start.

The Flyers got out, well, flying, hopping over the sleeping Senators to gain control in the first few minutes.

Claude Giroux broke the ice at just 4:19, finishing a nice passing game that started after Senators defenseman Nick Holden lost an advantage deep in his own zone. Three minutes later, Oskar Lindblom conceded his deflected shot from Chabot’s stick and passed Forsberg.

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At that point, the Flyers held a 7-0 lead.

The Senators’ first shot on goal came with 6:20 left in the period, but they found their legs to generate a few chances late in the period, momentum that continued into the second when they evened it out. .

Now back home, they will wait to see if Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues goes as planned.

“Whatever happens, happens,” said Captain Brady Tkachuk. “If we keep playing we’re going to keep trying to play with that jam and that confidence that we have. If it’s closed, it’s time to mentally regroup and spend the holidays with the family and try to be as safe as possible.

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Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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