Senators 4, Flyers 2

OTTAWA (AP)—It didn’t take the Philadelphia Flyers very long Friday night to equal their entire goal output of a year ago in an embarrassing first-round playoff loss to the Ottawa Senators.

In losing that five-game series, the Flyers totaled just two goals. They matched it in just 11 minutes Friday night, but lost anyway.

Marian Hossa had a goal and two assists as Ottawa scored three times in the second period of a 4-2 victory in the opening game of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

“Once we scored that first goal we had the crowd on our side and got the momentum,” Hossa said. “We knew we hadn’t played a good period and we could only get better and we did.”

The Senators, playing for the first time in eight days, rallied on goals by Hossa, Martin Havlat and Daniel Alfredsson. The victory was fifth straight this postseason for Ottawa.

“I think we realized we had just had our bad period,” Ottawa’s Todd White said. “Then it was over and we knew we had time to come back.”

Zdeno Chara also scored and added an assist for top-seeded Senators, who won their quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders in five games.

“They’re an explosive team,” said Philadelphia center Jeremy Roenick, who assisted on both goals by the Flyers. “They got a couple of bounces and (things) shifted their way.”

After eliminating Toronto in a seventh game Tuesday night, the Flyers were looking to avenge their loss last year to Ottawa—when they were shut out three times by Patrick Lalime.

Tony Amonte and Sami Kapanen scored on Philadelphia’s first two shots. But Lalime settled down and finished with 23 saves.

“Two shots, two goals—then we turned it around,” Lalime said. “We haven’t played in a while. We got the legs going. They got some good scoring chances right off the bat.”

Late in the third period, Lalime came far out of the net to clear a loose puck and was knocked to the ice by Claude Lapointe. Lalime was down for about two minutes, but returned to the net and finished the game without a problem.

“I didn’t see the way he did it,” Lalime said. “It didn’t feel that good, but it’s part of the game.”

Bryan Smolinski had a pair of assists for the Senators, who took the lead on Alfredsson’s goal against Roman Cechmanek at 9:32 of the second period.

Game 2 is Sunday night in Ottawa.

Cechmanek was shaky, making just 13 saves as Ottawa rallied from a two-goal deficit for the first time in its playoff history.

Senators coach Jacques Martin threw a new look at the Flyers when he opened the game with a checking line of center Mike Fisher between Vaclav Varada and Chris Neil.

Amonte took a lead pass from Roenick, crossed the blue line and snapped the first shot of the game over the glove hand of Lalime just 1:19 in.

Kapanen picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired the Flyers’ second shot past Lalime at 10:48.

Lalime made his first save on a 150-foot clearing attempt by the Flyers during an Ottawa power play, and drew a loud mock cheer when he stopped a good chance by Keith Primeau moments later.

It took Ottawa, the NHL’s third-highest scoring team during the regular season, almost eight minutes of playing time to get its first shot on Cechmanek.

The Senators, who had two power-play opportunities in the period, didn’t get their second and final shot of the period until almost the 15-minute mark.

When Ottawa returned for the second period, however, it was Cechmanek who allowed soft goals. Havlat and Hossa scored 2:59 apart, and it was tied by 5:33.

Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock was not happy with his goaltender.

“He is just going to have to be better,” Hitchcock said.

With the Senators on the power play, Alfredsson scored on a wrist shot from the blue line that beat Cechmanek to the short side for a 3-2 lead.

Chara made it 4-2 late in the third period on a disputed goal after he banked the puck off the goaltender’s skate from a sharp angle. Play continued,but after a review the puck was ruled to have crossed the goal line.


Ottawa, which drew 18,197, has sold out only two of its four postseason home games at the 18,500-seat Corel Centre. … Senators LW Peter Schaefer missed the game with a groin injury. He was replaced in the lineup by F Jody Hull. … With D Eric Desjardins out with a broken foot, Philadelphia dressed DJim Vandermeer.

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