OTTAWA, Ontario — Claude Giroux now has five career points against the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring his 29th goal of the season in the Ottawa Senators’ 5-4 overtime win over the Flyers on Thursday.
Giroux scored a goal in his first game ever against his former team back in November, but the Senators lost that game. However, he notched three assists on his trip to Philadelphia to help the Senators win, 4-1. He welcomed the Flyers back Thursday, and his goal against them gave the Senators the series, 2-1.
Giroux was sick for the game, but he didn’t look like it, zipping around the ice and showing off his skill. He had six shots on goal and won nine of 15 faceoffs. He and his teammates held off a comeback attempt from the Flyers.
The third opened with the Senators up, 3-1, and Giroux quickly added a fourth. But in less than five minutes, rookies Cam York and Noah Cates closed the gap to one. They had 10 minutes left to tie it, which Owen Tippett did with 2 minutes, 39 seconds left on the clock, sending it to overtime.
Alex DeBrincat ended it a 1:36 into overtime.
The Flyers knew the Senators would come out strong.
“They have a tough schedule coming up,” Tortorella said pregame. “I think they see this as a game that they have to have because we’re probably one of the lesser teams that they’re going to play, if I can put it that way.”
But forewarned was not forearmed. The Flyers had a shot from outside in the first 27 seconds and a nice attempt off the rush by James van Riemsdyk — and that was it.
The Senators pushed hard and never let the Flyers get set up after the opening shift. They stopped the Flyers at the blue line and won battles in all zones. By the end of the first, they were up 17-2 in shots and 1-0 in goals.
Things did not get better in the second, which they finished 27 shots to five. By the end of regulation, they were down 44 to 11, despite tying it.
Third’s the charm
The Flyers came so close to scoring their first power play goal in five chances Tuesday, but the clock expired just before Frost took his shot. However, they took a positive from the momentum they built and the way they created the chance.
They clearly weren’t just looking for silver linings because they built off that in their next game. Despite some initial sloppiness (Tippett tripped on the entry, Hayes whiffed on a pass and Ristolainen let the puck trickle over the blue line), the Flyers pulled it together and created several opportunities including a shot from Frost right in front of the net.
The Senators got in front of Frost’s shot before it reached the net, but the Flyers recovered the puck and got it out to DeAngelo above the right faceoff circle. Surveying the space in front of him, DeAngelo took the third shot on goal of the game and scored.
Warming the bench in the box
With just over four minutes left in the first period, the Flyers’ active-leading scorer Tippett sent the Senators leading scorer Tim Stützle hard into the boards.
From there, the game increased in intensity, culminating in three fights in less than a minute of game time. Joel Farabee was the first to drop the gloves as he took on DeBrincat. Then Nicolas Deslauriers dropped the gloves with Austin Watson. As the referees led Deslauriers to the box, he stopped to fight Mark Kastelic, smashing him against the glass of the penalty box where Farabee looked on in glee.
Deslauriers received a misconduct, but Farabee wasn’t alone for long. Kieffer Bellows served a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty and Scott Laughton sat for roughing. Shortly after they got out, Ivan Provorov went in for tripping.
In all, the Flyers served 31 penalty minutes in the second period alone. Unfortunately for them, that helped the Senators increase their lead to 3-1 with Shane Pinto scoring a power-play goal.
The Flyers head home to host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Flyers will hold a pre-game ceremony to honor broadcaster Steve Coates, who announced his retirement Friday.