OTTAWA (AP)—The Ottawa Senators aren’t worried about scoring first as long as they score at least once.
Ottawa, which gave up the opening goal for the fifth straight game just 21 seconds in, is 7-0 in these playoffs when it manages to score. All three of the Senators’ losses have come by shutout.
“We didn’t panic,” Hossa said about Claude Lapointe’s early goal. “It was the first shift of the game and we knew there was lots of time to get back, and that’s what we did.”
The Senators lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 and can advance to the Eastern Conference finals against New Jersey with a win at Philadelphia on Monday.
“It’s going to take our best game,” Senators defenseman Wade Redden said. “The fourth one’s the toughest to get—everyone knows that—so we’ve got to come out with all we’ve got.”
Game 7, if necessary, will be Wednesday in Ottawa.
“There are two games left,” Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. “They’ve got to win one and we’ve got to win them both. All we’ve got to do is turn this into a one-game series.”
The Flyers have not lost consecutive games in this year’s playoffs.
Bonk and Daniel Alfredsson scored quickly on Ottawa’s first two power plays, with Hossa assisting on both goals.
“It’s a big part of the game, especially in the playoffs, when you get chances to make them pay and that’s what we did,” said Patrick Lalime, who made 17 saves.
“They’re going to come hard at us,” Redden said. “There’s a lot of hockey here and we want to end it on Monday but we’re going to have to be even better.”
Lapointe and Radovan Somik scored for Philadelphia, which went 0-for-4 on the power play. The Flyers, who allowed a short-handed goal to Schaefer, have yet to score in 14 power-plays this series.
“When your special teams have success you’re usually successful in the game in the end, and tonight was no different,” Hossa said. “We got two power-play goals and our penalty killing was unbelievable, too.”
Ottawa came back to take a 2-1 lead before the end of the first period on Smolinski’s first of the playoffs and Alfredsson’s third on a power play at 15:24.
Havlat put the Senators up by two 8:07 into the second, and Bonk got Ottawa’s second power-play goal midway through the period to chase Roman Cechmanek, who allowed four goals on 16 shots.
“That fourth one took the wind right out of our sails,” Hitchcock said.
Robert Esche made his first career playoff appearance, stopping 13 of 14 shots the rest of the way. But there won’t be any goalie controversy as Hitchcock tabbed Cechmanek as the Game 6 starter.
“Now we’re in our most familiar position,” Flyers captain Keith Primeau said. “We’re definitely against the wall and we’re going to have to come out kicking and scratching.”
Ottawa, which led for just 30:28 of 246:43 in total play entering the game, quickly fell behind again.
Philadelphia’s Donald Brashear banked a pass off the left boards from center ice and Lapointe raced into the Senators’ zone to jump on the loose puck. His shot struck Lalime’s right shoulder before falling behind him.
“It was just a bad break,” Lalime said. “The puck came off the boards and it was one of those where you suddenly say, ‘Whoops! There’s no whistle and he’s still coming.”’
Smolinski tied it at 7:15 with a 50-foot wrist shot.
Bonk and Hossa assisted on Alfredsson’s goal at 15:24, just 10 seconds into Ottawa’s first power play.
Alfredsson’s slap shot from the point gave Ottawa its first in-game lead since midway through its 4-2 win in Game 1. Havlat got his third goal 8:07 into the second.
The Senators drove Cechmanek from the net 27 seconds into their second power play as Bonk fired a loose puck into an open net at 9:56 to make it 4-1.
Schaefer got his first point in 11 career playoff games when he scored 6:59 into the third while Hossa was off for slashing to put Ottawa up by four.
Radovan Somik got his first playoff goal at 7:55 to close the scoring.
“We’ve taken a lot of high sticks and a lot of cross-checks to this point in the series and we were just letting them know that we’re not going to goaway quietly,” Primeau said.
The Flyers, who led for 6:56 in the first, have led for 181:11 of 306:43 of play in the series. … Philadelphia’s power play is 0-for-22 in six road games in the playoffs. … The Flyers have allowed three short-handed goals in the playoffs. … The Senators are 7-22 in the playoffs when they allow the first goal, and 14-8 when they score first. … Schaefer’s goal wasthe Senators’ first short-handed of the playoffs.