OTTAWA (AP)—Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock is still waiting for the Flyers’ top performance against the Ottawa Senators.
Roman Cechmanek stopped 33 shots for his second career playoff shutout and the Flyers beat the Senators 2-0 Sunday night to even their second-round series. Cechmanek made up for his dismal performance in Friday’s series opener by posting his first shutout in these playoffs. Simon Gagne and Mark Recchi scored for the Flyers, who tied the best-of-seven series 1-1.
Hitchcock was critical of Cechmanek after the goalie stopped just 13 of 17 shots in Philadelphia’s 4-2 loss in Game 1. He still wasn’t pleased after this victory.
“I didn’t think we played very well,” Hitchcock said. “I thought we played better in the first game. I don’t think we played well until we got mad.”
Game 3 is Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
Gagne scored early in the first period and Recchi added another late in the game against Patrick Lalime, who made with 21 saves.
Ottawa fell to 0-3 in second-round Game 2s. The Senators, who had an NHL-best 113 points this season, have never won the second game after opening a series with a victory. Ottawa beat Philadelphia 4-2 Friday night.
The Senators went 0-for-6 on the power play; the Flyers were 0-for-3.
It was the third sellout in five home games for the Senators this postseason. Before this year, Ottawa failed to sell out only one of 20 home playoff games.
Gagne dampened the enthusiasm of the white-towel-waving crowd when he scored his fourth goal of the playoffs at 6:57 of the first.
One of the criticisms of Cechmanek after Game 1 was that he struggled when he was forced to move side-to-side across his crease. However, it was Lalime who was beaten when Gagne sneaked out from behind the Senators net and fired a low shot off the far post on the Flyers’ second shot.
Lalime allowed goals on Philadelphia’s first two shots in Game 1.
“We had chances in the second period and just didn’t get the bounces,” Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “If we score on the power play it would have made all the difference.”
The Senators continued to press in the third, and Alfredsson was stopped from close range on the power play.
“He is a good goalie,” Senators forward Marian Hossa said of Cechmanek. “He stood on his head and I thought they played well defensively.”
The Flyers took advantage of a fanned shot by Karel Rachunek to break the other way. Redden missed John LeClair with a check to create a two-on-one chance. Recchi took a cross-ice pass and slipped the puck under Lalime with 6:58 to play to make it 2-0.
Ottawa pulled Lalime for an extra attacker with two minutes to go, but failed to beat Cechmanek.
The Flyers were 30-0-3-1 during the regular season when leading after two periods. Philadelphia also tied the Senators with a league-best 24 road victories this season.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in attendance. … Ottawa LW Peter Schaefer missed his second straight game because of a groin injury. … Senators rookie C Jason Spezza is expected to rejoin the team Monday following a conditioning stint with Binghamton of the AHL. … Flyers RW Joe Sacco was scratched from after playing in Game 1. He was replaced by C Marty Murray, whowas moved over to left wing alongside C Keith Primeau and RW Justin Williams.