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Flyers, Mason shut out Senators

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- Standing in the visitors dressing room at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night, Flyers goalie Steve Mason looked as if he could have skipped the postgame shower and headed straight for the team bus.

"There are nights when goaltenders earn a shutout and they do a lot of the work," Mason said after picking up the 20th of his career and first as a Flyer, "but tonight was a complete team effort. The guys really worked hard for this win."

Mason made 24 saves, none of them particularly spectacular, as the Flyers defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-0 in front of 16,398 fans.

The victory was the second in a row for Philadelphia (6-10-1), while the Senators (7-7-4) had their winning streak stopped at three games.

"Twenty giveaways, five goals against (and) two on the power play," Senators coach Paul MacLean said when asked what went wrong. "I don't think there is anyone on our team who should be happy with their game. Twenty guys went out there, and 20 guys didn't get the job done."

Flyers winger Jakub Voracek led the way with two second-period goals. Philadelphia winger Matt Read and centers Vincent Lecavalier and Brayden Schenn added a goal apiece.

Center Claude Giroux chipped in with two assists as the Flyers' top line of Voracek, Giroux and left winger Scott Hartnell combined for 13 of the 31 shots directed at Senators goalie Craig Anderson.

"I think we played better last game against Edmonton," Voracek said of the team's top unit. "We had a lot of scoring chances as well. Today, I think we could have scored four or five goals. Today we got a win and we made a difference, which everybody expected from us basically every game."

Making his first start since sustaining a neck injury Nov. 3, Anderson was sharp in the first period but wore down as the night went on.

"My job is to give the team a chance to win, so it's not good enough," he said of his performance. "It's black and white. There's no gray area there. I've got to look myself in the mirror and say I've got to be better.

"Any time you lose, it's not fun. To lose 5-0, it stinks. It's not a fun game to be a part of. Maybe I speak for everybody, but I'm a little embarrassed I gave up five (goals). That's unacceptable, and I've got to get better."

Read opened the scoring with his fourth of the season at 16:24 of the first period when he was the recipient of an unexpected bounce off the end boards. Anderson was looking left, but the puck didn't follow its projected course, and Read stepped out to the goalie's right to tuck it in.

Voracek notched his second of the season at the 28-second mark of the middle period, taking a pass behind the Ottawa net and slipping it behind Anderson. He made it 3-0 with the Flyers on a power play at the 10:33 mark of the middle frame.

Any chance of an Ottawa comeback was snuffed out when Senators defenseman Marc Methot's pass through the slot was intercepted by Lecavalier, who blasted a slap shot through Anderson's legs at 7:57 of the third. It was the seventh goal of the season for Lecavalier.

Schenn claimed his fourth by tipping in a Lecavalier point shot on another Flyers power play at the 13:32 mark.

Senators winger Chris Neil had a goal waved off in the third when it was ruled he deflected the puck with a high stick.

"It's disappointing," Neil said of the Senators' effort. "We weren't all on the same page. We were sitting back too much, and it's tough when you are playing in your end the whole night."

NOTES: Senators D Chris Phillips sat out with an undisclosed injury. It was only the fourth game the 36-year-old missed because of injury in the past seven years. D Joe Corvo took his place in the lineup. ... Senators G Craig Anderson started despite the fact G Robin Lehner won all three games in his absence and was named the NHL's first star of the week. Senators coach Paul MacLean reasoned that he was going with Anderson because "Craig is our No. 1 goalie." ... Philadelphia coach Craig Berube started G Steve Mason even though G Ray Emery is a former Senator who would like nothing more than to beat his old team. Said Emery: "We got a big win last game. Don't mess with a good thing." ... Flyers RW Steve Downie played his first game since suffering a concussion Nov. 1 in a fight with Capitals LW Aaron Volpatti. "I ate a left," said Downie, who assisted on the game's first goal. "It feels good to get back." ... Flyers C Claude Giroux returned to his hometown of Ottawa fresh off ending his goalless streak at 15 games Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. Asked if the weight was off his shoulders, Giroux said: "I usually don't believe in that (cliche), but now I do." ... The Flyers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins on Wednesday. The Senators host the Boston Bruins on Friday.
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