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Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

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Ottawa Senators vs. Philadelphia Flyers

The Ottawa Senators were without their top two scorers their last time out, and their normally high-powered offense was non-existent.

The Eastern Conference-leading Senators hope to get All-Star Daniel Alfredsson back on Sunday night and look to rebound from just their second shutout loss of the season when they open a three-game road trip against the surging Philadelphia Flyers.

Alfredsson leads Ottawa (30-13-4) with 29 goals and 60 points, and was a game-time decision for Saturday's matchup against Tampa Bay after sustaining a hip flexor injury in Thursday's 5-1 victory over Carolina.

Alfredsson, who last week became the first Senators player voted to start in an All-Star game, was held out against the Lightning, but hopes to be back for this contest. Alfredsson also missed Ottawa's 4-3 loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 24 with a groin injury, but has four goals and six assists during a five-game point streak against the Flyers.

Without Alfredsson or second-leading scorer Dany Heatley - out up to five more weeks with a separated shoulder - Ottawa lost to the Lightning 2-0. It was the first time the Senators, who have scored an East-leading 162 goals, were blanked since a 3-0 loss at Toronto on Nov. 17.

Ottawa had just six shots on goal in the third period to finish with 25.

"We've just got to get more chances and get more shots on net," Senators forward Shean Donovan said. "We need to be a little more desperate. Anytime you don't win it's not a good thing but we've got three games on the road now so it will be good for the team."

Martin Gerber, who made 36 saves in the win over the Hurricanes, is expected to start this game. Gerber is 2-1-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average since allowing three goals on eight shots and being lifted 7:34 into the first period of Ottawa's 6-3 loss to Washington on New Year's Day.

In the loss to the Flyers earlier this season, Gerber allowed three goals on 25 shots before being replaced by Ray Emery 7:51 into the second period. Gerber is 4-1-1 with a 2.27 GAA lifetime while Emery is 1-1-0 with a 4.92 GAA as a starter in his career versus Philadelphia

The Flyers (25-15-5) defeated the New York Islanders 5-3 on Saturday to improve to 9-1-1 since Dec. 27. Philadelphia was 13th in the East on Dec. 26, but has since climbed to fifth.

Scott Hartnell has been a huge reason for Philadelphia's latest turnaround, as he recorded his second hat trick in a five-game span on Saturday.

Hartnell, who also scored three goals in a 6-2 win over the New York Rangers on Jan. 10, has nine goals and four assists during a season-high six-game points streak. He had just six goals in his first 37 games this season.

"They weren't the prettiest of goals, but I'll take them," Hartnell said. "It seems like right now, it's my time."

Martin Biron stopped 28 shots to earn his 17th win of the season on Saturday, and will likely be given this game off. Backup Antero Niittymaki is 5-0-1 with a 2.00 GAA and one shutout in his last six starts.

Niittymaki made 26 saves in the win over the Senators earlier this season, and is 3-3-1 with a 3.52 GAA lifetime against them.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 28 '08 OTT 1 at PHI 3 M. Knuble
Feb 19 '08 PHI 2 at OTT 3 - SO J. Spezza
Jan 20 '08 OTT 1 at PHI 6 S. Hartnell
Nov 24 '07 PHI 4 at OTT 3 D. Briere