PHILADELPHIA — Jeff Carter scored his NHL-best 26th goal, Simon Gagne got the winner late in the third period and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Ottawa Senators 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Carter was knocked on his back and slid into the boards in the second period, a prime scoring shot wiped out on a tripping penalty. Carter needed little time to get up and punch in No. 26 to put the Flyers ahead 3-2.
Ottawa scored twice in the third against Antero Niittymaki to even the score, then Gagne scored his 18th goal with 5:30 left.
The Flyers won their sixth straight at home, punctuated by Mike Richards' empty-netter in the final seconds.
Niittymaki had been strong in place of an ill Martin Biron until he hit a rough patch in the third. Dany Heatley scored his second goal of the game midway through the period and Chris Phillips buried a slapper inside the blue line to make it 4-4.
"We're a fragile team, but I thought we came out and showed some desperation in the third period," said Senators head coach Craig Hartsburg. "I think the guys have to get away from the game for two days. We have to show more desperation. We're in a desperate state here. We have to get points. We had a chance to get a point tonight and let it slip away."
The win got away from them when Gagne, who has bounced back nicely after missing most of last season with a concussion, took a shot from the left circle that appeared to knock off a pair of defensemen and trickle in.
"They gave it to Gagne so it must have hit him," Senators goalie Alex Auld said. "I never really saw it. It didn't hit me so I'm not really sure how it got in."
Heatley's first goal of the game and 15th of the season early in the second made it 2-2.
Carter seemed poised to give the Flyers a lead when he sprinted down the ice for the puck with Ottawa defenceman Christoph Schubert on his tail. Carter was ready to shoot on Auld when Schubert tripped the Flyers centre from behind and sent him sprawling to the ice.
Schubert was whistled for two minutes for tripping. Carter made Ottawa pay when he knocked in the puck for the lead.
Andreas Nodl gave the Flyers scored his first career goal to make it 4-2. While Niittymaki had a 2.46 GAA in his last eight starts (6-1-1) entering the game, Nick Foligno needed only five minutes to poke the puck into the net for a 1-0 lead.
The Flyers evened the score on Matt Carle's third goal of the year, and Joffrey Lupul made it 2-1 on his 13th goal when he tipped in the puck from the crease off a sizzling shot from Scott Hartnell along the boards.
Notes: The Senators got off to a rough start on their season-high eight-game road trip that lasts until early January. Ottawa's eight points on the road are fewest in the Eastern Conference and it has only three road victories this season ... Senators D Anton Volchenkov left the game in the first period when he slid face first into the glass.