Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Elliott, Sens blank Flyers in contest marred by miscalls

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

Brian Elliott stopped all 26 shots he faced to post his second consecutive shutout as Ottawa topped Philadelphia, 2-0, in a testy contest at Scotiabank Place.

Elliott, who blanked the Canadiens in Montreal on Monday, recorded his fifth shutout of the season and sixth in his career.

Chris Kelly and Daniel Alfredsson scored for the Senators, who have won two in a row following five straight losses and moved four points ahead of Philly and idle Montreal (83-79), who are tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Brian Boucher made 24 saves in a tough defeat for the Flyers, who have dropped three in a row and six of eight and failed to record a tally in their first game without leading scorer Jeff Carter who will miss the remainder of the regular season with a broken foot.

Ottawa went ahead 2-0 at the 18-second mark of the third period as Alfredsson potted a Chris Phillips rebound, but following the goal, the home team incredibly received a seven-minute power play.

Immediately prior to the score, Sens defenseman Anton Volchenkov leveled Flyers forward Simon Gagne with a hard check from behind and several feet from the boards with no call from the officials. Gagne caught up with Volchenkov after the goal was scored, and dropped the gloves.

Somehow after the bout, Gagne wound up with a double minor for instigating while wearing a face shield, major and misconduct while Volchenkov received only a minor for roughing.

Incredibly, Ottawa hit two crossbars but failed to increase its lead on the power play.

On a power play with 3:55 left, the Flyers were deprived of a goal, when a lengthy review determined that Volchenkov swept out Kimmo Timonen's backhand chance from the crease despite replays showing the puck wholly over the goal line.

Boucher went to the bench for an extra skater with over two minutes to play, and the visitors' best chance came when Scott Hartnell missed a half-open net in the final 30 seconds.

The Senators had a goal wiped out on a power play less than 2 1/2 minutes in, when Nick Foligno clearly threw a puck past Boucher from the left post.

Despite failing on two successive advantages, Ottawa took a 1-0 lead with 9:26 to play in the first as Kelly ripped a wrister high to the glove side off a 2-on-1 break.

Philly failed to convert a 5-on-3 advantage for well over a minute late in the second period and Elliott made 11 saves in the second. Boucher stopped six shots to keep it a one-goal game.

NOTES: Ottawa won three of four games in the season series and have taken six of eight over Philadelphia since the start of last season...The Flyers were shut out for the sixth time this season and first since February 3 at Edmonton...Elliott also blanked the Flyers on December 10 in Philadelphia.

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