Flyers vs. Senators LIVE! From the Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA.
Game Notes: Tonight is the 34th game of the year and 19th game at home for the Flyers, who are 11-4-3 at the Wachovia Center. The Flyers have won their last five games at home, outscoring their opponent by a 27 to 14 margin. They have also gone unbeaten in regulation in their last 11 games at the Wachovia Center, posting a 9-0-2 record (Their last regulation loss on home ice came on Nov. 8 vs. Tampa Bay).
In their 18 games at home, the Flyers have lost just one game by more than one goal, the second game of the season, Oct. 13 vs. Montreal, 5-3, in which an empty-net goal was scored in the final minute of play. The Flyers are 7-1-2 in the month of December and 14-2-4 in their last 20 games.
Jeff Carter (2G,2A), Scott Hartnell (3G,1A) and Joffrey Lupul (1G,3A) each recorded four points and Antero Niittymaki stopped a season high 47 shots in the Flyers last game at home, a 7-1 win over Washington on Dec. 20, The 25 shots on goal by the Capitals in the first period set a new Flyers record for most shots on goal allowed in a period in a home game.
The previous record was 22 shots on goal by Boston on Dec. 28, 1975 (third period—Boston defeated the Flyers, 4-2). The Flyers were also outshot 48-28 in the contest—largest margin of victory when being outshot by 20 or more shots in a game is four goals. The Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils in Philadelphia on Oct. 18, 2007, 4-0 and were outshot 38 to 18.
This is the second of four meetings on the year, and first at home against the Senators. In the first meeting, the Flyers were defeated 4-1 on Nov. 6 and immediately following the loss, the Flyers finished out the month of November with a 7-2-2 record. Jeff Carter was named NHL's "Second Star" for the week of Dec. 15-Dec. 21 for recording seven points (4G,3A) in four games.
Carter has also recorded at least a point in seven of his last eight games, including at least a goal in six of those contests, recording 14 points (7G,7A) in that span. He has at least a point in 13 of his last 16 games, posting 14 goals and 11 assists in that span. Kimmo Timonen has registered at least an assist in four of his last five games, posting nine helpers in that span.
Scott Hartnell has recorded at least a point in six of his last seven contests, posting 11 points (7G,4A), including two hat tricks during that stretch. Joffrey Lupul has at least a point in five of his last six games, recording four goals and six assists. Antero Niittymaki has won six of his last eight starts, going 6-1-1, recording a 2.46 GAA and .924 save percentage. Jeff Carter also leads the NHL with three goals and five points in overtime this season.
Puck Drop: 7:08
Penalty: OTT-Schubert-Hooking(2:00), 16:25.
Goals: OTT-Foligno(5), Assists-Kelly(5), 5:01. PHI-Carle(3), Assists-Gratton(1), Kalinski(1), 6:33. PHI-Lupul(13), Assists-Hartnell(13), Jones(1), 18:31.
PP: PHI-0/1 OTT-
PK: PHI- OTT-1/1
Shots: PHI-16 OTT-5
Notes: It was good to see Josh Gratton and John Kalinski record their first NHL point, the fourth line produced a lot of energy and the Flyers first goal of the game by Matt Carle. Lupul tipped in a Scott Hartnell side angle shot to put the Flyers up 2-1 at the end of the first period.
In a very entertaining period, the Flyers seemed to control all the offense and had very adequate puck movement. The Flyers should continue to add to their lead in the second period as the Sens look to be no real challenge at this point.
Penalty: PHI-Jones-Tripping(2:00), 2:31. PHI-Coburn-Tripping(2:00), 2:50. OTT-Schubert-Tripping(2:00), 4:05.
Goals: OTT-Heatley(15)powerplay, Assists-Spezza(11), Alfredsson(19), 2:58. PHI-Carter(26) PowerPlay, Assists-Hartnell(14), Coburn(12), 6:00. Nodl(1), Assists-Timonen(21), Powe(1), 7:56.
PP: PHI-1/2 OTT-1/2
PK: PHI-1/2 OTT-1/2
Shots: PHI-10 OTT-8
Notes: The Flyers turned some bad fortunes into a great power play goal by Jeff Carter. The goal was his league-leading 26th of the season. Andreas Nodl scored his first career goal from a deflected Kimmo Timonen point shot. I feel really good for Nodl, he has worked so hard, and has done some really good things for the club and he finally notched that first goal.
Goals: OTT-Heatley 2(16), Assists-Ruutu(7), Spezza(12), 7:40. OTT-Phillips(1), Assists-Alfredsson(20), 10:39. PHI-Gagne(18) Unassisted, 14:30. PHI-RICHARDS(14), Assists-Gagne(22), 19:50.
PP: PHI-1/2 OTT-1/2
PK: PHI-1/2 OTT-1/2
Shots: PHI-32 OTT-21
Notes: In what was an uneventful third period so far, the Senators fired up two goals rather quickly, within three minutes the Sens scored two goals to tie the game at four a piece. Simon Gagne came right back four minutes later to make the Flyers re-take the lead 5-4.
Mike Richards closed out the Flyers victory with an empty net goal with 10 seconds to go. The Flyers will now embark on a six-game road trip that starts in Chicago this Friday at 8:30.
The Flyers are now only two points out of first place in the Atlantic Division. The Flyers also, have not lost a home game in 12 consecutive contests. The Flyers are 15-2-4 in their last 21 games.
From the Wachovia Center, I bid farewell, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good Flyers night, God Bless everyone!