|OTT||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|PHI||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||6|
GAME: Ottawa Senators (48-15-6) at Philadelphia Flyers (39-21-10).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
After clinching the NHL's first playoff spot, the Ottawa Senators try to earn a split of their season series with the Philadelphia Flyers when the teams meet the Wachovia Center.
The Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Friday to earn their ninth consecutive postseason appearance. Ottawa has won four straight and is 12-1-1 in its last 14 games dating back to a 3-2 victory over Philadelphia on Feb. 11.
"Things are going well, you know, and confidence is a big thing," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said.
Alfredsson gave his team confidence early, scoring his 39th goal 4:32 into the game to give the Senators a lead they never relinquished. Antoine Vermette scored just over two minutes later and Patrick Eaves added a third-period tally.
Rookie goaltender Ray Emery made 28 saves to earn his 11th win this month since taking over for the injured Dominik Hasek. The Senators won despite playing without defensemen Zdeno Chara (hand) and Anton Volchenkov (head), who were hurt in Tuesday's 5-2 win over Pittsburgh.
With 13 regular season games remaining, Ottawa has 48 wins and 102 points and is on pace to break the franchise records of 52 victories and 113 points set by the 2002-03 squad.
That team made the longest playoff run in Senators' history, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals before losing in seven games to the New Jersey Devils.
The Flyers are also trying to get back to the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Philadelphia struggled to a 3-5-1 record in its first nine games after the Olympic break, but have won three in a row since.
The Flyers scored three power-play goals Wednesday en route to a 6-3 win over the Atlantic Division-leading New York Rangers. Philadelphia tallied two of those goals at the end of the first period on a five-minute power play after New York's Ryan Hollweg checked R.J. Umberger from behind into the boards.
"Our power play hasn't really done that well of late, but I think we should be proud of the difference we made," said Mike Knuble, who scored two power-play goals in the first period.
Simon Gagne and Michal Handzus each added a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who overcame Jaromir Jagr's hat trick. Philadelphia has outscored its opponents 12-6 in its current winning streak.
The Flyers have won five of their last seven at home.
STANDINGS: Senators - 102 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Flyers - 88 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Dany Heatley and Alfredsson, 39 goals; Jason Spezza, 55 assists; Alfredsson, 87 points; Chris Neil, 161 PIM. Flyers - Gagne, 41 goals; Peter Forsberg, 52 assists; Gagne and Forsberg, 70 points; Donald Brashear, 129 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Senators - Power play: 20.4 percent (85 for 416), 4th in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.5 percent (360 for 416), 2nd. Flyers - Power play: 18.1 percent (72 for 397), 12th (tied). Penalty killing: 79.0 percent (319 for 404), 26th.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Emery (20-5-2, 3 SO, 2.53 GAA); Mike Morrison (10-4-2, 2.83). Flyers - Antero Niittymaki (21-12-6, 2, 2.96); Robert Esche (18-9-4, 1, 3.06).
SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 11; Senators, 3-2. At Ottawa, Heatley scored the go-ahead goal 19 seconds into the second period and Hasek made 29 saves. Gagne and Brashear scored for the Flyers.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 22-9-5 on the road; Flyers - 19-10-6 at home.
|Mar 25 '06||OTT 3 at PHI 6||M. Handzus|
|Feb 11 '06||PHI 2 at OTT 3||D. Heatley|
|Dec 22 '05||OTT 3 at PHI 4||S. Gagne|
|Oct 30 '05||PHI 5 at OTT 3||J. Sim|