A day after Briere scored all three of the Philadelphia Flyers’ goals in an overtime win over the Senators, the teams complete their home-and-home series Sunday in Ottawa.
In Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, Briere completed his fifth career hat trick with the game-winning goal at 4:54 of overtime. The 3-2 victory was the third in four games for the Flyers (24-11-4) and snapped the Senators’ four-game winning streak.
Briere’s hat trick was his first since Feb. 13, 2010, and he credits what he deemed a dirty play for giving him a little extra motivation.
With the score tied at 1 in the second period, Ottawa’s Kyle Turris gave Briere a little push to the head. Briere responded by shoving him back, and Turris went to the penalty box for cross-checking while Briere got two minutes for interference.
The two returned to the ice and fought 20 seconds later - Briere’s first fracas since Nov. 20, 2009.
“It was a cheap shot on (Turris’) part, he came down with a cross-check to the back of my head when I was in a vulnerable position on the ice, he scraped my face on the ice and there was a lot of frustration there,” Briere said.
“After that, I took the adrenaline and used it. I didn’t think I got a fair shot and I felt I had to do something about it.”
That seemed to be all the motivation he needed.
In the third period with his team down a goal, Briere scored on the power play at the 9:12 mark. Then, just six seconds before the game was headed for a shootout, Briere finished the hat trick.
“It was an inspiring effort by Danny,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “He was skating and in the battles and got knocked around. He was taking some and giving some. He has to be willing to take that from some big guys.
“You watch a guy like that, and I know it was a couple of skill guys, but Danny is not a big guy, he’s a flyweight. But he gave our guys a lift, and he had a monster game.”
Although Ottawa (21-15-6) lost, coach Paul MacLean still likes the direction his team is heading. The Senators are 7-1-2 since Dec. 16 and are within four points of Philadelphia for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
They’ve come a long way from starting the season 1-5-0, which included a 7-2 home loss to the Flyers on Oct. 18.
“I thought we have grown as a team every day,” MacLean said. “(Saturday) showed we can play (since the first game with the Flyers), we had a real legit chance to win the game.”
Ottawa, however, is now in danger of losing three straight to Philadelphia for the first time since being swept in four games in 1997-98 - the tail end of a 12-game series skid.
The Senators should have a decent chance of bouncing back in Ottawa, where they’ve won three in a row and six of seven.
Craig Anderson, who finished with 36 saves Saturday, is 5-1-0 with a 2.12 goals-against average in his last six home games, and captain Daniel Alfredsson has six goals and nine assists in his last eight contests at Scotiabank Place.
Philadelphia’s Ilya Bryzgalov has not enjoyed as much success on the road lately, going 0-2-1 with a 3.61 GAA in his last three games away from the Wells Fargo Center.